Living on a budget
As former college students, we're pretty familiar with living (and gaming of course) on a small budget. Since we're all big Quake addicts, we're constantly searching for the best performance combinations possible.
As you probably know by now, high framerates don't always equate well with budget gaming systems. In the right environment however, systems based on Intel's Celeron processor can be quite an effective solution.
While the 0.25-micron Celeron was a bit more competitive with its Pentium III brother than the 0.18-micron Celeron we've reviewed recently, the new Celeron's still overclock like a charm, and are very affordable. Because of this, we're certain they'll be a hit with many consumers interested in upgrading their current Celeron BX setups, or even those looking to build a budget system from scratch.
Likewise, since its introduction last September, the GeForce 256 chip (and NVIDIA itself) has been the industry darling, winning the hearts of consumers and OEM's for its combination of blazing performance and steadily decreasing price.
As you probably know by now, NVIDIA just recently announced the successor to GeForce 256, the GeForce 2 GTS. Early indications show it offers incredible performance in high resolution, high color depth environments. We're pretty certain it will be another successful product for NVIDIA.
Building the ideal affordable gaming system
In a quest to find the best upgrade path for gamers interested in purchasing a fast yet affordable system, we've combined the Celeron 566 with a BX motherboard and the GeForce and GeForce 2 GTS series of graphics cards. That means both GeForce products (the GeForce SDR and DDR) and representing the GeForce 2 GTS is our ELSA GLADIAC board.
Of course if you're reading this article and also own a Celeron CPU, chances are pretty good you're going to overclock it. With this in mind we've included numbers at standard clock speed in addition to numbers with the CPU overclocked to 867MHz.
With these numbers in hand, you should get a good idea for the combination that best suits your needs. At least that was the original hope of this article.
Before we get into the numbers however, we thought you'd like to see a little eye candy from two games: Messiah and Evolva. With recent developments from both NVIDIA and 3dfx we've definitely become aware of the importance of visual quality. Of course, the importance of framerate shouldn't be forgotten.