|Enthusiast Custom PC Build Q3-2010|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by Vito Cassisi - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 27 June 2010|
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The Battle PlanIf we're going to design a computer, we're going to need a source of parts. To keep things simple we've opted for a single source (NewEgg, to gather prices. Our focus is on a general bang-for-buck build which covers:
AMD vs Intel, ATI vs Nvidia - Hold your fire!
Choosing the CPUWhen it comes to designing a PC, there's an important prerequisite that dominates the entirety of the project. If you haven't guessed already, this is the platform, in particular, which CPU brand to opt with. The choice of CPU dictates the choice of motherboard. It's an important consideration to ponder before diving head first into part lists. Choosing a platform isn't always straightforward. Readers in the know are probably familiar with Intel's dominance when it comes to performance parts. It is generally accepted that a machine away from 'scraping the barrel' budget offerings are best off with a Core i5/i7 processor. However, AMD do produce some competitive parts, particularly their latest X6 range. For example, the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is a six-core part which matches the price point of Intel's budget Core i7 quad-core range. More cores doesn't always lead to better performance however, which is evident by benchmarks placing the Intel parts ahead in core independent applications.
Pretty PicturesThe graphics platform debate is still a difficult one. Nvidia and ATI often compete with similar performance parts at equivalent price points. The main considerations when choosing a card are:
Choosing a card can be daunting with so many models on the market. The good news is that only a few models exist at each price point, each with a set of manufacturers who produce them. A quick look at a few benchmarks and you can get a good idea of what’s suitable. Selecting a manufacturer is as simple as picking the cheapest one with a decent warranty.