TechSpot's High-end PC Buying Guide

The future is now! Quad-core CPUs, DirectX 10 graphics cards, Windows Vista, all the things we have been waiting for are now available for public consumption. With deals, price cuts, and the winter buying season upon us, this would seem like a perfect time to empty our wallets and make an upgrade or build a new PC, especially if you are a big spender. We have put together a special high-end PC buying guide for the New Year that includes a $2000 "standard deluxe" configuration, a heftier $3000 "Fully Loaded" system, and an additional "Dream Machine" with no virtual price ceiling.

This is arguably one of the best and most fully featured buying guides we have written in recent times, do check it out.

View: TechSpot's High-end PC Buying Guide

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INTEL better than AMD? that bull ****! I have bad experience about INTEL CPU!

INTEL cooling technology not very efficient... the SpeedStep only reduce FSB. and very noisy too. Power hungry + expensive MoBo + lack in compatibility...

INTEL old Moore's Law making the north bridge have to work harder, north bridge maker have to integrated the memory controller and the worse nightmare if they have to embedded IGP. It can cause very high temperature and need active cooling system. If you notice, the INTEL north bridge usually have BIG heat sink or even + BIG FAN.

Some said there are INTEL MoBO that much cooler... Indeed it is, but the spec of the mainboard are too low profile...

The "bottle neck" of the FSB also limiting the true power of the "multi core".

AMD have integrated DRAM controller...this make less memory latency and make the north bridge much cooler (since MoBo maker don't have to put memory controller in it)... + EVP supported for XP SP2 + 3DNow +3DNow Extension + Cool "n" Quite ( I love this! ) Dude! if your like to play games, this are for you!

Lower Hertz? Why need Higher Hertz if the CPU already very efficient? No need to increase Hertz highest as possible... because it just wasting energy. More Hertz produce more heat! resulting energy waste... it make the CPU less efficient! (This is physic concept) That why AMD switch to other technology so called "HyperTransport" killed the limit of the old FSB, more efficient and increase performance.

That why AMD use PR (Performance rating) for example AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+, the "5000+" is the PR.

I like SiS chipsets. I was a huge 735 fan, and one of the few people stupid enough to buy an Elitegroup K7S6A (a SiS745 board which lost all the benefits of the famous K7S5A. Unlike some other chipsets I can mention :cough nForce4: they're usually fanless, and :cough: ULI M1695/1697 :cough: reasonably well supported by the vendor.

Their problem though seems an inability to stake out and hold a lead.

The 735 was the last chipset they issued which was a performance leader. At the time of introduction, it competed with KT266 boards, but was almost immediately beaten by KT266A boards. I recall good times with it, an Athlon 1200C, and unofficial BIOSes.

And 771 is NOT high-end on the GPU department. The 3DMark 05 score of the test config was under 400. My relatively conservatively configured box (7600GS, socket 939 4600+) scores about 30 times as high as the 771 reference system.

It has good image quality, but I think the complete cratering of Parhelia on the market shows that people will NOT trade off performance for quality.

I don't agree either. I waiting for AMD QUAD FX to come out. From that point, "REAL" High-end PC born on this planet. LOL! For monitor? what monitor? just buy HDTV... make it HTPC & GAMING PC all in one...

I also waiting for new SIS chipset for AMD, SIS771. Dude! don't underestimate this little "SIS"ter. This chipset have High-end GPU.... eermmm I think VPU....

In this test, we take a look at the performance of the 3 integrated graphics chipsets, SIS 771/966 vs NF 6100/410 vs ATi RS485/SB460 in image quality during playback of DVD using HQV.

HQV benchmark is developed by Silicon Optix as a new standard for objective testing of video processors. The tests include both synthetic tests to aggravate a particular problem along with real-world material that shows the same problem.

Tests that are done include Color Bar test, Jaggies, Picture details, Noise Reduction, 3:2 pulldown. Film cadence, Mixed 3:2, Motion adaptive NR etc. The scores of individual tests are usually 0 for fail, 5 for acceptable, 10 for OK for most tests. 0 (FAIL) or 5 (PASS) for Film Cadence tests.

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/sis/sis%20771/b10.htm

Very apparent, the video playback feature of the SiS 771 is way better than the two other chipsets. In fact, the text display at high resolution is very sharp as well.

For full detail:

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/sis/sis%20771/g1.htm

nirvash77 said,
I don't agree either. I waiting for AMD QUAD FX to come out. From that point, "REAL" High-end PC born on this planet. LOL! For monitor? what monitor? just buy HDTV... make it HTPC & GAMING PC all in one...

I also waiting for new SIS chipset for AMD, SIS771. Dude! don't underestimate this little "SIS"ter. This chipset have High-end GPU.... eermmm I think VPU....

In this test, we take a look at the performance of the 3 integrated graphics chipsets, SIS 771/966 vs NF 6100/410 vs ATi RS485/SB460 in image quality during playback of DVD using HQV.

HQV benchmark is developed by Silicon Optix as a new standard for objective testing of video processors. The tests include both synthetic tests to aggravate a particular problem along with real-world material that shows the same problem.

Tests that are done include Color Bar test, Jaggies, Picture details, Noise Reduction, 3:2 pulldown. Film cadence, Mixed 3:2, Motion adaptive NR etc. The scores of individual tests are usually 0 for fail, 5 for acceptable, 10 for OK for most tests. 0 (FAIL) or 5 (PASS) for Film Cadence tests.

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/sis/sis%20771/b10.htm

Very apparent, the video playback feature of the SiS 771 is way better than the two other chipsets. In fact, the text display at high resolution is very sharp as well.

For full detail:

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/sis/sis%20771/g1.htm

Looking at how behind AMD are compared to intel [Dual Core Vs. Quad Core and 60nm Vs. 45nm], by the time AMD make a quad core cpu intel will be a lot further. AMD at the moment is putting a **** load of effort into their fusion products. Revolutionary yes, but I and many other people won't buy one for a number of reasons:

1. Incompatible with current hardware
2. Heat issues?
3. Cost?
4. Upgradablity? It would cost a lot more to upgrade than just a standalone dedicated GPU.

If fusion fails, so does AMD, because right now all you hear from AMD is fusion, and more 60nm technology processors. Oh and of course all their lame excuses trying to prove that they are better than Intel [when none of their products are anywhere near C2D.]

Shadowdruid said,

Looking at how behind AMD are compared to intel [Dual Core Vs. Quad Core and 60nm Vs. 45nm], by the time AMD make a quad core cpu intel will be a lot further. AMD at the moment is putting a **** load of effort into their fusion products. Revolutionary yes, but I and many other people won't buy one for a number of reasons:

1. Incompatible with current hardware
2. Heat issues?
3. Cost?
4. Upgradablity? It would cost a lot more to upgrade than just a standalone dedicated GPU.
5 [Personal]. I prefer Nvidia more than ATI. I like their cards better.

If fusion fails, so does AMD, because right now all you hear from AMD is fusion, and more 60nm technology processors. Oh and of course all their lame excuses trying to prove that they are better than Intel [when none of their products are anywhere near C2D.]

This guide doesn't seem to justify their choices too much. I spent a lot of time trying to research how they came to the conclusions they did.

Imnotrichey said,
This guide doesn't seem to justify their choices too much. I spent a lot of time trying to research how they came to the conclusions they did.
Mainly two sources: Hands-on testing (probably 50+ %, and also from research and community feedback)

I don't agree with choices there... Seriously, how can you recommend a crap motherboard like the MSI P965 Neo3?
I know someone who own this and it's pure crap. Comon!