I purchased a computer over a month ago, and its been performing quite well. I used to like looking at hardware reviews, but it had been a long time since my last look at a review (around 4 years). However, I did quite a lot of catching up during the course of my computer purchase, and got updated on the latest specs. Techreport and Anandtech were quite useful during my market survey, and have quite a lot of reviews on different hardware.
Interestingly, the time of my computer purchase coincided with the announcement of the launch of the new Core 2 processors by Intel. Going by the reviews I came across, these processors have a totally different architecture from the Pentium 4 series, and are more closely related to the Intel mobile processors. The processors are really top notch performers and score well in all the three main P’s for processors – performance, price and power consumption. This in fact seems to have given back the performance crown for destop processors to Intel from AMD, whch had been doing very well for the last few years. Here are a few of the reviews on the Core 2 processors:
- Conroe at last – Techreport review just before the official launch
- The Empire strikes back – Anandtech review of Core 2
- Cooler processors review – Techreport
- Value Core 2 processors review – Anandtech
Coming back to the specs of my machine, it would have been good to have a Core 2 based machine, but they were ruled out due to the budget and availability. In fact the one of the best available here in Kolkata was the AMD Athlon 64 3200+, and given it’s price along with the corresponding motherboard, that’s what I opted for. So, here are the specs of my machine:
- AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Socket 939 – Techreport Review1 (for Athlon 64 3000+), Review2 (for Athlon 64 3400+) – both have the 3200+ in the comparisons
- MSI RS482M4 motherboard based on ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset – Techreport chipset review
To go with them I have 1 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard disk and a Sony DVD writer, along with a Lacie 80 GB USB hard disk for portable storage which I purchased 3-4 months ago. All in all, the configuration would have been a high end one over two years ago, barring the graphics card, but now is a pretty average one. However, it meets my basic requirements, including that of playing games. In fact the onboard graphics is quite decent, having DirectX 9 hardware support, and can play 3-4 year old games at the highest settings quite comfortably. This chipset would be quite well suited for office users, mainly due to its onboard graphics which should be able to handle Windows Vista’s high graphics requirements.