Weekly Buyer's Guide: Overclocking System - March 2004by Evan Lieb on March 10, 2004 6:07 PM EST
- Posted in
IndexToday, we release our fourth Buyer's Guide in the last 4 weeks. You can look forward to Buyer's Guides during the middle of every week and then, after the end of each month, we will retool our guides to reflect the new hardware and pricing of that particular time period. In case you haven't read our new Buyer's Guides yet, here's the basic format of them to be released on a weekly basis:
Week 1: Entry Level System
Week 2: Mid-Range System
Week 3: High End System
Week 4: Overclocking System
For every component that goes into a computer, we offer our recommendation for a piece of hardware as well as our alternative on that type of hardware. We've added alternative hardware picks to our guides because it allows AnandTech to recommend a wider variety of hardware (especially for those willing to spend a little more than what we budget for a particular system). Alternative picks tell you just that - your alternatives, which in some cases will be better suited for your needs, and in some cases, will not be. But at the same time, we can still be assertive enough with a first place recommendation so that new buyers aren't indecisive or confused about what to purchase. Most of the prices listed for the hardware that we recommend can be found in our very own RealTime Pricing Engine. Any prices not found in our engine can be found on pricewatch.com. We list pertinent parts of our RealTime pricing engine at the bottom of every page of our Buyer's Guides so that you can choose the lowest prices from a large variety of vendors all by yourself.
We are always taking suggestions on how to improve our Buyer's Guides. If you feel we are not including a wide enough variety of systems in our guides, please let us know and we can see if it warrants an additional weekly Buyer's Guide.
OverclockingWhat we're going to tell you here are probably things you already know. For example, if you're considering overclocking, you're probably someone who has at least an interest in computer technology and most likely, are someone who just wants to squeeze as much performance as possible from their system without spending big bucks. If you're considering overclocking, you probably also know that overclocking hardware is never guaranteed; sometimes you'll receive components that overclock through the roof and sometimes you'll receive a dud. What you should know and keep in mind is that overclocking can damage your hardware and your data, and usually isn't covered under warranty, often times voiding warranties. Also keep in mind that this isn't an overclocking system meant for people who have cash to burn, so you're not going to see elaborate water cooling setups or ridiculous liquid nitro cooling solutions; our overclocking systems are cooled by air (fans). Granted, we're recommending the best air cooling available.
Keeping that information in mind, our overclocking systems always put stability before performance. While that may sound contradictory, knowing that the whole point of overclocking is to basically gain more performance from your system, a high performance system is nothing if it's unreliable and crash happy. Therefore, with stability first and performance a very close second, price is a more distant consideration. Remember, though, that price is still important enough that this is not meant to be a high end system, even though it'll perform better than one. For more information on our picks for high end components, take a look at last week's High End Buyer's Guide.
Now that that's all clear, read on to find out our picks for best overclocking components this week...