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What's Hot, Whats Not
What's Hot,  Whats Not - PCSTATS
This week's edition of What's Hot, What's Not focuses on what Gamers are getting these days. If you're a Gamer, have a look and see what the hottest components of a Super Gaming System are!
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 10 2000   B. Ly  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > PCSTATS

Whats Hot, Whats Not... 

Welcome to another edition of What's Hot, What's Not . I will approach this week's roundup a little bit differently from the previous. This edition focuses more on what GAMERS are buying. My friend "Goobie" made this suggestion, and I do believe that this theme is a good one.

CPU's and Motherboards

What CPU and Motherboard are gamers picking up like no tomorrow? The Intel Pentium III 600E ($405 CDN / $279 USD) just happens to be the hottest CPU that I've seen in a long time. The 600E retail boxed CPU is currently only available (to my store anyway) in the FC-PGA form factor.  Thus I had to  purchase an FC-PGA to Slot One adapter. I picked up the MSI 6905 Master V2 $24 CDN ($16.50 USD.) I haven't had any problems thus far with this adapter. And I've been able to overclock this 600MHz CPU to 800MHz (6*133MHz FSB [more details in an upcoming article].)

I am now using the recently released Abit VT6X4 (VIA 133A) motherboard ($160 CDN / $109 USD.) While there are quite a few people that have decided to try their hand at overclocking this CPU in an Intel 440-BX based motherboard, the 133MHz FSB seems difficult to achieve without a 1/2 AGP divider. Some people are lucky enough to have an AGP video card that can handle the overclocked AGP bus that comes with a 2/3 AGP divider on a 133MHZ FSB (88.7MHz AGP bus.) though.

For the more conservative gamer that doesn't like to overclock; the AMD Athlon CPU's are a bit more attractive in terms of prices. AMD Athlon retail boxed processors are consistently 'cheaper' than their equivalent Intel counterparts. For example, the AMD Athlon 750 retail boxed processor is roughly $550 CDN ($379 USD) versus the Intel Pentium III 750E that is roughly $850 CDN ($585 USD.) The price difference is staggering, and the Pentium III 750E is not much faster than the Athlon 750 part. I know that some people are willing to pay a lot more for a tiny increase in performance, but believe me, the Pentium III 750E is not $300 CDN ($206 USD) faster than the Athlon 750. With the money that you've saved, you could put it towards more RAM or a Geforce DDR for starters.

Unfortunately the current stocks of Athlon compatible motherboards with the highly anticipated VIA KX-133 chipset are dismally low. The Asus K7V is selling for $244 CDN ($168 USD.) This is disappointing because the KX-133 motherboards are produced with a 4-layer PCB process that was supposed to cut down on costs, and hence come to market at a more reasonable price than the previous AMD Athlon motherboards produced with the 6-layer PCB process and AMD's 751 Irongate chipset. Hopefully the current high prices on the Asus K7V are only the result of a supply and demand process that is driving prices up. In any case, the Asus K7V brings some interesting 'new' features to the AMD Athlon motherboard market (thanks to the VIA KX-133 chipset) such as: AGP 4X support, PC-133 (133MHZ memory bus)  - all fun stuff for gamers!

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — What's Hot, Whats Not
 Pg 2.  Video Cards and Monitors
 Pg 3.  Sound Cards, Speakers and Hard Drives
 Pg 4.  RAM, ROMS and Conclusions

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