What Hardware Should I Buy? - August 2009

August 11, 2009 | 10:56

Tags: #build #building #buyers #case #cheap #computer #cost #decision #guide #hardware #inexpensive #make #new #performance #purchase #what

Companies: #bit-tech #game

Enthusiast Overclocker

The Enthusiast Overclocker is a PC designed for those looking to buy a PC that maximises performance, without splashing out on premium hardware. If you're not into hardcore video encoding and more extreme multi-tasking, but still love your high definition gaming, we've worked with this PC to generate the best balance possible, providing that is, you spend time learning how to overclock it.

After many (still continuing arguments) in the office, we've settled for an AMD triple core processor, because the potential performance over a dual core CPU is still there, as is the extra free core overhead and the potential to unlock the fourth given the right board. We've offset this with a fast graphics card and some high performance DDR3, but have managed to squeeze in a cheaper motherboard to make sure the price doesn't sky rocket.

This month we've tried to go for the Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H instead of the MSI 770-C45 in combination with the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition, because the Gigabyte 785G can efficiently unlock those extra cores and still offer plenty of overclocking options.

What Hardware Should I Buy? - August 2009 Enthusiast Overclocker

We've chosen performance 1,600MHz memory from both for the better price-to-performance return, despite the marginal premium, we think the extra affords a little more to play with for some additional fun.

Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H: UK | US
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition: UK | US
4GB KIT (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600Mhz PC3-12800: UK | US

If you don't want to go down the AMD route, we'd recommend checking out something based on P45 (such as the Gigabyte EP45-UD3R, Asus P5Q or MSI Neo3-F) and the Intel E7300 with some fast DDR2.

Combined with a Titan Fenrir, or a Scythe SCANG-1000 in the States, in the well ventilated HAF 922 chassis, and there's overclocking (for both setups) abound. We accept the HAF style probably isn't to everyone's tastes, there's always the mini P180 to squeeze the tiny Gigabyte into (should you find it available later), for a ludicrously cheap £55!

Titan Fenrir: UK
Scythe SCANG-1000 (Kama Angle): US
Cooler Master HAF 922: UK | US

Finally, the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W might seem cheap (well very cheap post-rebate if you live in the US!) but we've found it to be a solid product that's really very quiet. The other advantage is that it's modular, so no messy cabling. It has plenty of power for the overclocked tri/quad core Phenom II, and Radeon HD 4780 1GB we're again bundling into this build.

The Nvidia GTX 260-216 is just not as price competitive here, and we've made sure to select some after market coolers for the HD 4870. However, be sure to keep an eye out for new deals as the month progresses.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5: UK | US
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W PSU: UK | US

The Samsung Spinpoint F1 might not be "as fast" as the latest Seagate 7200.12 or Western Digital Black 1TB hard drives, but in the real world the difference is negligible at best. You'll need to upgrade to an SSD to really see a tangible difference.

LG GH22NS50 22x DVD-RW SATA Black: UK | US
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB Hard Disk: UK | US

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October 14 2021 | 15:04