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My Hardware Picks

Going to be doing a entry every week or so where I outline some good hardware picks for those upgrading or building their computers.

Please check around for the prices. They fluctuate a lot and you can find great deals on ZipZoomFly.com, Mwave.com, TankGuys.com, Ewiz.com, and plenty of other E-Tailers.

Motherboard:

You really can't beat the P35 right now. I was a big fan of the X38... but it really turned out to be a dud. Don't get me wrong, the price point is great. But without SLI support... there is just little reason to spend the extra money for X38 over the budget level P35 motherboards.

These times are really good for the motherboard market. I remember when you had to part with $250 for a decent motherboard... and even that was questionable. Now you can get a

really good motherboard in the sub $140 price range!

Abit IP35-E ~ $84 ~ Just like the DS3L this is the RAID-less version of Abits P35 motherboard. Great for those on a budget.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L - ~ $91 ~ This is a DS3R with a ICH9... losing RAID features... Great value for those who aren't playing with RAID.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R - ~ $130 ~ My very own motherboard, I love this thing more than $250 motherboards I have owned. No frills... No gimmicks... Just a plain good motherboard.

DFI BLOOD IRON P35-T2RL - ~ $122 ~ A nice board from DFI. I have no personal experience but the word on the street (I.E. forum) is that this is a great motherboard.

Sure there are plenty of motherboard priced above this point... but I can't see the point in spending the extra money for... well nothing really.
Memory

I remember when I paid a good $350 for a good set of 2x1GB.... Crazy I know! Now you can get memory incredible cheap. 4GB isn't beyond the reasonable budget. What a great time for computer builders.

Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB DDR2-800 CL4 2.2V - ~ $50 ~ I am not going to lie. The voltage bothers me a bit... but you can't beat the price!

G.Skill 2x2GB DDR2-800 CL5
1.8V
- ~ $150 ~ Yeah... thats 4GB for $150. Thats a great deal. Sure there is the 1000Mhz stuff, but that is at 2.0V+... meaning it is essentially the same thing as 800Mhz at 1.8V.
Video Cards

Finally we are seeing good performance out of decent price video cards! The 2900PRO, now the 8800GT and in a little bit the refreshed 8800GTS. With the initial rush of the 8800GT over the next shipments should see a consistent supply and more reasonable prices.

8800GT 512MB - ~ $250 ~ Right now you are going to pay $290 if you want one of these cards. Within a week a new shipment will be in and the prices should be down again. Don't pay more than $260 for these cards.

Please let me know what you thought of my blog and if you have any further suggestions comments.

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