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Holiday Buyers' Guide 2006, Part 1: PC Components

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November 2, 2006 10:31:44 AM

Are you ready for the Christmas buying season? Don't worry if you aren't yet, because THG is, and we've compiled a nice list of product recommendations to make your shopping life easier!
November 2, 2006 11:04:20 AM

it is getting very tiring having links that we in the UK (and I imagine the rest of europe) cannot see until 6-8 hours after they are posted, sometimes even the next day...

Any chance you can resolve this, you appear to have fixed the .com.com thing though..
November 2, 2006 11:54:21 AM

Quote:
it is getting very tiring having links that we in the UK (and I imagine the rest of europe) cannot see until 6-8 hours after they are posted, sometimes even the next day...

Any chance you can resolve this, you appear to have fixed the .com.com thing though..


Why couldn't you access that link?
Related resources
November 2, 2006 12:02:10 PM

404 error.

It seems that it re-directs me to the UK version, but they have yet to post it. There's no URL that I can modify... so I can't read it, happens with about 60-70% of new stories, and most of the links posted in forumz by the staff.

They must update overnight or something, even now I still can't access it.
November 2, 2006 2:45:51 PM

It would seem the staff at THG think our families all have unlimited Christmas shopping money. How about also mentioning budget products? I'm a gamer, and would NEVER spend the extra money for RAM with good timing. I have seen systems with similar specs, one with generic and the other with good Corsair RAM, and could not see a difference in how the game played in the slightest (HL2, BF2142).

how about a cheap motherboard too? I doubt most of us will use 8 SATA ports or need on-board digital audio ports (why would you buy a $200US motherboard and not buy a good sound card??). My current motherboard is an Asus, and cost $80 canadian.

The idea of buying a dual or quad core processor before software exists which really utilizes it is backwards. By the time the software is mainstream which supports it, you'll then have a SLOW dual-core processor, because there will be faster ones available. When all the games you want support multicores, THEN buy the hardware to take advantage of it. You'll pay less for the same processor, or buy a faster one for the same price, and are using its full potential immediately.

is it just me? am I the only gamer and enthusiast on a budget?
November 2, 2006 3:16:04 PM

We're American, it's just you. LOL!!! J/K man. I hear your healthcare is crap, but at least you get some. I'll be passing on my next 60 years of upgrades so I can afford to die of a cancer in a hospital. Right now I'm paying for all the smokers to die...

Yes, best DDR and DDR2 budget ram would be a GREAT article.
November 2, 2006 4:02:38 PM

We will have another article that deals with more affordable items as well as another one with more expensive stuff :-)

So how did you like Sarah?
November 2, 2006 4:43:04 PM

well, I am paying for my healthcare, it's just coming out of my taxes. :)  Part of the problem is, a lot of people take advantage and visit hospitals for scraped knees and headcolds. Now that wait times in the emergency room are frequently 6hrs + though, that seems to be less of an issue, we're just having a hard time keeping doctors from moving south of the border for more salary.

How stupid of us not to mention Sarah yet. What a wonderful choice, she's doing a great job! Keep it up Sarah! I love that semi-sitting pose, very nice product display. ;) 

happy to hear about more articles coming with different focus considered. very good idea.
November 2, 2006 5:05:55 PM

Nice timing, I was just shopping around for hardware....

BTW Sarah is super hot dude, any chance you will be posting her number soon? :wink:
November 2, 2006 5:10:36 PM

Quote:
Nice timing, I was just shopping around for hardware....

BTW Sarah is super hot dude, any chance you will be posting her number soon? :wink:


there was hardware too?
I just saw the chick...
November 2, 2006 5:17:34 PM

do u get the chick too if you buy all that stuff?
November 2, 2006 5:49:34 PM

This is guide is stupid.
How can they recommand the Athlon 64 X2 4200+ when u can get the E6300 and overclock it to an X6800??

Obviously Core 2 Duo is FAR more price/performance efficient.
Dont trust this guide.
November 2, 2006 5:55:02 PM

take it easy. if they did not recommend a processor from each manufacturer, it might seem like faortism. Because they did, you are complaining? Although overclocking IS mentioned in the article, it should not be a consideration for recommending a product purchase, since many readers would not be overclockers.

If this was the "overclocker's holiday buyers' guide" I'd agree with you, but it's not.

At least the idea of overclocking WAS mentioned in the motherboard area. I cannot remember if it was elsewhere. I think the bases were covered rather well.
November 2, 2006 7:02:30 PM

Quote:
take it easy. if they did not recommend a processor from each manufacturer, it might seem like faortism. Because they did, you are complaining? Although overclocking IS mentioned in the article, it should not be a consideration for recommending a product purchase, since many readers would not be overclockers.

If this was the "overclocker's holiday buyers' guide" I'd agree with you, but it's not.

At least the idea of overclocking WAS mentioned in the motherboard area. I cannot remember if it was elsewhere. I think the bases were covered rather well.


The E6300 is still better than any Athlon 64 X2, especially the 4200+.
And u cannot rule out overclocking, it is very important. It is what makes a 125$ CPU, an 800$ or more CPU, especially with the Core 2 Duo CPUs.

I doubt ppl would buy a dual-core CPU for gaming and not overclock.

And also, they are telling ppl to buy an X6800! That is crazy. The E6600 can overclock past 3.6Ghz and costs 1/3 of the X6800's price. The only reason to ever buy an X6800 is if u want a 4.0Ghz+ CPU wich wont get u much.

So yeh, that sucks. These "guides" seem to be just what these ppl read in the news.. they dont actually think or give an informed opinion from their personal experience.
November 2, 2006 7:08:54 PM

I'm not gunna lie, the parts I didn't really care about I just looked through to see the pics... The one where she's holding the MSI K9N... *drool* lol, i'm so mature 8)
November 2, 2006 7:27:49 PM

Sarah is so nice . If we start a fan club here on the forum will she join in ? :lol: 
I don't know what you pay her for now and no offense to the guys but can't you get her in the Videos ? I saw Patrick Schmid in the latest and I'm sure he knows his hardware and all but Sarah should star in the next one.
I don't really have an opinion about the components , I was too distracted by the pics :oops:  .
Keep that exploitation going . :D 
November 2, 2006 7:50:44 PM

Seriously, that recommendation is a total nonsense.
Recommending Athlon X2 that is more expensive and being outperformed by E6300 which would overclock way more?
The C2Xtreme?

I don't know about whether those Abit and Foxconn mobo gonna do well, but Gigabyte and Asus have bene proven to be great motherboards for C2D, even better overclockers ... afterall it's 975 chipset ... the P965 express is an overall better overclocking ...

Meh, I recommend going through my guide, the link on my siggy, it's not the perfect/best around, but I personally think it's better.
November 2, 2006 8:09:21 PM

..but where do I buy elves?

Yeah, all those things were hella expensive. If I could afford to lay out that kind of $$$ I wouldn't wait until christmas to do it.
November 2, 2006 8:17:54 PM

Quote:
I'm not gunna lie, the parts I didn't really care about I just looked through to see the pics... The one where she's holding the MSI K9N... *drool* lol, i'm so mature 8)
She is definately hot - i looked at every page ! Next week I will read the article :D  Right now I am leaving work early to rush home to find the woman.
November 2, 2006 8:24:10 PM

Hardware Smardware - I forgot to even look at it with Sarah there - she is babalicious. Anyway keep it clean - this is a family forum
November 2, 2006 8:27:25 PM

HI EVERYONE. This is Sarah, the ....elf. I am also the Editorial Production Coordinator for all Tom's Hardware, Tom's Networking, MobilityGuru, DenGuru and TwitchGuru.

Thanks for all the compliments. I have to admit, this is the first time I've dressed up as an elf. I'm glad you're enjoying the Buyer's Guide (most of you, anyway). I'd be happy to comment back, and possibly make an appearance in a video sometime in the future.
November 2, 2006 8:31:00 PM

Tell them a little about yourself, Sarah. Like your pet pumpkin, Lady Di.
November 2, 2006 8:33:04 PM

Quote:
Tell them a little about yourself, Sarah. Like your pet pumpkin, Lady Di.


Pft, as if. The only pets I have are my two cats. That's right, cats.
So, how about them spuds?
November 2, 2006 8:35:32 PM

Quote:
HI EVERYONE. This is Sarah, the ....elf. I am also the Editorial Production Coordinator for all Tom's Hardware, Tom's Networking, MobilityGuru, DenGuru and TwitchGuru.


Whaddaya know, a beauty with brains, just my type :D  Now what was that number again?

Seriously though, you are very hot. Looking forward to that video soon.
November 2, 2006 8:41:12 PM

You leave my spuds alone, bully.
November 2, 2006 8:46:46 PM

Just what we need, another California bimbo showing herself off. My neighbor girl is just as good looking. Who cares? Show the f'n hardware. When I want cute girls in little outfits I'll visit a porn site. You nerds go goo-goo eyed over any woman. Get a life.
November 2, 2006 8:52:07 PM

Quote:
Just what we need, another California bimbo showing herself off. My neighbor girl is just as good looking. Who cares? Show the f'n hardware. When I want cute girls in little outfits I'll visit a porn site. You nerds go goo-goo eyed over any woman. Get a life.


California bimbo? I'm from Virginia, buddy! Don't make yourself look like a fool by stereotyping me.
November 2, 2006 9:03:32 PM

I really love the buyer's guide each year... lots of things I can't afford but lots to think about.

Thanks for the smile Sarah :D 
November 2, 2006 9:05:14 PM

Sarah,
Don't be offended by Ryan's comments. He's gay.
He has to be with a name like that. :lol: 

I must admit I wasn't looking at the hardware either I was looking at your software. :wink:
Very nice.
Keep up the good work.
November 2, 2006 9:05:30 PM

Decent article. I don't know why people are always ragging on AMD chips for overclocking. I have a 3700+ (2.2ghz) and have managed to get it up to 2.98ghz (prime stable for 6 hours).

And yes, we all agree that Sarah is beautiful. Of course more importantly she is a beautiful AND (presumably) intelligent woman who likes computer stuff!! Now that is a true rarity. You guys at THG are lucky to work with her (shameless compliment).

Other than that I like the looks of the OCZ ram, too bad I am still stuck with my S939 platform and my slow DDR1 :(  .
November 2, 2006 9:15:59 PM

Dear Sarah, first let me say.............................WOW
Earlier this year after i retired from Trucking i was involved in a terrible car vs motorcycle accident that left me w/o the use of my legs.
I'm a paraplegic now paralyzed from the waist down and life has been tough if not a little depressing at times........the wreck left me with a boatload of money but nothing to do so i got back into computers afer a 20yr hiatus.
Building my latest system and my friends here at Toms Hardware have really helped me cope with reality, but nothing like when i saw the pictures of you in the article....it was like looking at a Angel, you are truly a vision of loveliness and purity that brought new-found life into my soul.
Thanx for being you and i look forward to more articles and videos with your loveliness and stature gracing the pages.
Regards,
Mad-dog

BTW, if i was 20 years younger................censored
November 2, 2006 9:29:19 PM

Quote:
Dear Sarah, first let me say.............................WOW
Earlier this year after i retired from Trucking i was involved in a terrible car vs motorcycle accident that left me w/o the use of my legs.
I'm a paraplegic now paralyzed from the waist down and life has been tough if not a little depressing at times........the wreck left me with a boatload of money but nothing to do so i got back into computers afer a 20yr hiatus.
Building my latest system and my friends here at Toms Hardware have really helped me cope with reality, but nothing like when i saw the pictures of you in the article....it was like looking at a Angel, you are truly a vision of loveliness and purity that brought new-found life into my soul.
Thanx for being you and i look forward to more articles and videos with your loveliness and stature gracing the pages.
Regards,
Mad-dog

BTW, if i was 20 years younger................censored


What a touching story. I'm so sorry to hear about your accident, but your optimism is enough to give anyone hope. I'm flattered by your comments and very pleased that the website as well as the pictures have served such a purpose.
November 2, 2006 9:54:15 PM

Quote:
take it easy. if they did not recommend a processor from each manufacturer, it might seem like faortism. Because they did, you are complaining?


Recommendations have to be based on something. If an enthusiast webpage recommends something i expect it to be something of interest to enthusiast.

If they recommend something based on the fact that they, for whatever reason, have to recommend something from every manufacturer, no matter how good or bad, then why the frag am i reading this? That´s like... like listening to advertisment. 8O
November 2, 2006 10:04:05 PM

Maybe that's what's causing people to be disgruntled about this Holiday Buyer's Guide - it's professing to be too many things to too many people. Gamers would ultimately have one list, overclockers a second list, bargain PCs a third, HTPC builders a fourth...

Since they can't please everyone all of the time, they're trying to highlight certain products they think have intrinsic bargain value. I don't have a problem with that.

To the guy who asked why you would get a $200 Mobo and not get a sound card, the answer is because you can hook your mobo directly up to your receiver via S/PDIF, and get both DTS-EX and DDL straight off of (ripped or original) DVDs, as well as PCM-quality for ripped CDs. Works great. No extra card.
November 2, 2006 10:13:27 PM

Quote:
Maybe that's what's causing people to be disgruntled about this Holiday Buyer's Guide - it's professing to be too many things to too many people. Gamers would ultimately have one list, overclockers a second list, bargain PCs a third, HTPC builders a fourth...

Since they can't please everyone all of the time, they're trying to highlight certain products they think have intrinsic bargain value. I don't have a problem with that.

To the guy who asked why you would get a $200 Mobo and not get a sound card, the answer is because you can hook your mobo directly up to your receiver via S/PDIF, and get both DTS-EX and DDL straight off of (ripped or original) DVDs, as well as PCM-quality for ripped CDs. Works great. No extra card.


And this is, as you can see, only Part 1 of a 4 part Guide. There are more sections to come that may please those who critique this edition. There will also be a separate Holiday Buyer's Guide for MobilityGuru.
November 2, 2006 10:34:57 PM

Quote:
Seriously, that recommendation is a total nonsense.
Recommending Athlon X2 that is more expensive and being outperformed by E6300 which would overclock way more?
The C2Xtreme?

I don't know about whether those Abit and Foxconn mobo gonna do well, but Gigabyte and Asus have bene proven to be great motherboards for C2D, even better overclockers ... afterall it's 975 chipset ... the P965 express is an overall better overclocking ...

Meh, I recommend going through my guide, the link on my siggy, it's not the perfect/best around, but I personally think it's better.


:lol: 

While i agree that it is a great guide, you have to admit it´s not really the same.


You could wear that short blue something and show off some of those fancy "components" of yours though... 8)
November 2, 2006 10:36:33 PM

I created an account just so I could tell some of you how shameless you are. THG probably brought a lot of this on themselves by having an attractive "model" in the article, but have a little class and keep the comments PG.

Thanks for the guide. As others have stated, it's kind of all over the place, but some good information there. You went from a budget processor to a processor cooler that won't fit in my house. Still looking forward to seeing what else is out there, even if it isn't grouped in a way that makes sense to me.
November 2, 2006 10:38:17 PM

Quote:
California bimbo? I'm from Virginia, buddy! Don't make yourself look like a fool by stereotyping me.


lol - owned :) 
November 2, 2006 10:40:52 PM

gettem sarah! :lol: 
November 2, 2006 10:43:15 PM

Quote:
track the.. well, i can't say what i think of him)


track is always off track :) 
November 2, 2006 10:47:43 PM

Quote:
Sarah,
Don't be offended by Ryan's comments. He's gay.
He has to be with a name like that. :lol: 

I must admit I wasn't looking at the hardware either I was looking at your software. :wink:
Very nice.
Keep up the good work.


I'm gay? Micah is my middle name. You shouldn't assume that I'm gay. As far as being with women, I have bragging rights. You shouldn't assume things, nor take other's sexuality and use it as an insult. Shows your narrow-mindedness. Sarah, I could give a crap about your looks. I'm here for hardware, and I think that having old creeps like this guy goo-goo over your physicality should be an insult to women everywhere. Women's suffrage takes a hit everytime a woman dons a skimpy outfit and allows men to "compliment" them. The truth is these horny bastards are just desperate for attention. Maybe if they had some respect for women and some dignity women would pay more attention to them. Read the next quotes, I rest my case.

Quote:
Dear Sarah, first let me say.............................WOW
when i saw the pictures of you in the article....it was like looking at a Angel, you are truly a vision of loveliness and purity that brought new-found life into my soul.
Thanx for being you and i look forward to more articles and videos with your loveliness and stature gracing the pages.
Regards,
Mad-dog

BTW, if i was 20 years younger................censored

Quote:

oh and on the subject of sweet little sarah, my slave to be, i have to say why so much clothes. you had plenty of hardware to cover you software as someone else put it. perhaps if you weren't wearing that elf costume it would distract less. that is my reason for wanting you naked anyway :twisted:


PLEASE.

Sarah, if you do a good job - then great. If Tom's wants to let readers know what it's people look like, post a "work family" photo. Not some pics that are going to get replies from guys with hard-ons. Have more self respect, or maybe you need to further your education with a lesson on how men see women.
November 2, 2006 10:47:51 PM

Pfff, how come you get to be a Princess - are you dating one of the devs?

Err, not that I want to be a Princess of course :oops: 
November 2, 2006 10:48:56 PM

Darn neighbor, no need to go Mormon on us.....
some of like girls, try not to let your insecurity show so much.
November 2, 2006 10:49:14 PM

Oh, and Cali bimbo had more to do with the clueless/Paris Hilton/sex object type. Which is how I see these pictures. :-)

Edited to add yet another pathetic quote...

Quote:
You could wear that short blue something and show off some of those fancy "components" of yours though... 8)
November 2, 2006 10:53:40 PM

Actually I'm more of an agnostic/atheist. Raised conservative though. I see myself as a humanitarian having a world perspective. I'm not anti-american. I'm anti-ignorance. I think people need to have a better understanding of human nature and of cultural differences.

Edited to add comment -

You guys don't honestly think I'm not aware that I may be largely unpopular? "Crazy unpopular people" are often the ones that open doors, invent things, and shape the world in which we live. I could sit around smoking pot, wacking it to porn, or being a political puppet. I may not be popular or famous, but at least I'm genuine.
November 2, 2006 10:54:55 PM

Quote:
This is guide is stupid.
How can they recommand the Athlon 64 X2 4200+ when u can get the E6300 and overclock it to an X6800??

Obviously Core 2 Duo is FAR more price/performance efficient.
Dont trust this guide.


Probably because they were trying to hit really low prices for the budget item and the x2 4200+ is still cheaper than the E6300 by like $30 or $40. So what if the conroe is faster? It's all about choices dude.
November 2, 2006 10:58:29 PM

I honestly think it's good to stay on track. How is a woman in an elf's suit that distracting anyway? She's not THAT scantily clad...this IS supposed to be a hardware forum. Which reminds me of what I said earlier...keep it hardware and drop the elf suit pics.
November 2, 2006 10:59:40 PM

I wouldn't have volunteered to pose for the Buyers' Guide if this kind of attention bothered me. Any woman, regardless of looks, has to put up with a good deal of unwanted attention from men. That's life. In this situation, I don't take the comments to heart, and I'm not offended by some of these Rated R comments. If I was, they'd be gone. I know I have more to offer than just looks. It's all in good fun, guys.
November 2, 2006 11:03:01 PM

I really shouldn't even dignify this with a response, but I'm not running for president so I will.

"A lot" is two seperate words. Begin your sentences with a capital letter and always capitalize "I" anyway, it gives you stature. Formerly doesn't have an "a." "If she don't like it"?: Self explanatory. Apologize - no S.

I think women should be able to think for themselves, that's kind of the point here...if they want to be seen and used as sex objects, hey...I'm all for that. I'll open a harem and make money off you fools. Sound good Sarah?
November 2, 2006 11:03:53 PM

hey sarah what games? if any do you play and what computer setup ?
do you have? :D  that kinda stuff.

i hope some dont post back with the (women shouldnt play games crap)
or anything like that.

im just asking a question :D 
!