It has been quite a long time since we last took a look at what kind of system you can build for about $1,000, so thatís what weíre here to do today. Fortunately, thanks to new product introductions from AMD/Intel, NVIDIA, and others, component prices are at their all-time lows Ė you can build a lot of computer for about $1,000, as weíll demonstrate to you today.
First things first though, this isnít an article on how to build your own computer, nor is it a product review or pricing guide. Instead Iím going to walk you through some system components that you may want to consider for your next upgrade, whether youíre going back to school, or youíre hoping to build a faster rig for Battlefield 2 or Quake 4. The prices listed for the components in this article may not be the lowest, but hopefully theyíll steer you in the right direction of what you may expect to pay online. The sources used include PriceWatch and Newegg.com.
Along the way Iíll be opining quite a bit more than normal, with my comments based on previous experiences. Donít worry, I wonít be getting out of hand, and most of it will be based on the countless hours Iíve spent testing hardware, as well as building systems of my own as well as for friends and family. Of course, it also goes without saying that since this is only a ~$1,000 system, the components used arenít necessarily the best of breed, I should also warn you in advance that some of my selections may not fit your particular needs, for instance, many PC enthusiasts love ATIís ALL-IN-WONDER cards due to their unique abilities such as timeshifting and, more recently, FM tuning, while the motherboard Iíve chosen may not provide the overclocking options youíre looking for, or perhaps you need something a little cheaper.
Quite often we get emails asking which component(s) are ďthe bestĒ or, ďI have [x] amount of money to spend for my next upgrade, what do you think I should get?Ē Itís impossible for us to answer these types of questions for you, simply because only you know what your needs are
. Only you know how you use your computer, every person out there is different, even among gamers. For instance, some gamers consider 30 frames per second (fps) to be a playable frame rate, while others insist on 60 or 70 fps. One gamer may prefer to game at high-res, cranking up the image quality as much as possible, while another may go with lower resolutions for higher framerates. Some prefer cranking up AA with low-res, while others prefer higher resolutions without AA.
This is why we try to provide as many resolutions in our reviews as possible, and in some cases, with or without AA/AF. It takes us a little longer as a result, but you get more information on how the product performs in return.
With all this in mind Iíll try to convey why each component was chosen for the article, and finally sum things up with benchmarks. For the sake of comparison, Iíll also include benchmarks with a high-end Athlon 64 FX-57 rig equipped with EVGAís e-GeForce 7800 GTX KO ACS≥ card.