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Last Updated: 27 July 2008


In this category of personal computers the main priority is the ability to run games software like Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, etc. with a good gamer's experience. Gamers hate jerky graphics performance or long load times between gameplay sessions Price has always been the number one concern of most Malaysian PC buyers and the gaming PC is no exception.


As a result of this, it is not unusual for gamers to economise by purchasing a CPU of lower clock speed and overclocking it to a higher frequency to achieve better performance. So here we have a guide for the gamer and overclocker.


System Platform

With the Athlon 64, AMD is now widely regarded as the platform for gamers. Most would agree that the AMD Athlon 64's performance in gaming is superior to a similarly priced Intel Pentium 4 CPU.


Mainboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum (nVIDIA® nForce3 250Gb Chipset)   CPU: AMD Athlon™ 64 3000+ processor in a box
Approximate Retail Price: RM 1,055


The K8N Neo Platinum stood out as a high performance, reasonably priced mainboard. Perhaps even more important to an overclocker, the K8N Neo Platinum allows overclockers to achieve high memory performance when overclocked. The K8N Neo Platinum will not be the weak link in any overclocking excercise.

The K8N Neo Platinum impresses with a full implementation of the features of the nForce3-250Gb/Ultra including fast on-chip LAN, any-drive RAID that allows IDE and SATA hard drives to be combined in RAID arrays, and an on-chip Firewall. The feature set compares well to any Socket 754 on the market and will not disappoint.

For the best overclocking experience, you can count on a working AGP/PCI lock with adjustments from 66 to 100, CPU multipliers from 4X to 20X, You also get a full range of voltage adjustments - vCore to 1.85V, memory voltage to 2.85V, and vAGP to 1.85V. This is even a board for the novice overclocker, since there are automatic overclocking selections in Core Cell that set everything for you. You just choose the % overclock from 1% to 11% and the board does the rest.
With most recent Athlon 64 reaching around 2.5GHz or higher, the task was finding an A64 that gave great value and also had a real history of significant overclocking. AMD, like Intel, has different flavors of A64 available at the same clock frequency. It was pretty easy to see that the 3000+ offered great value and great overclocking abilities.


The Athlon 64 3000+ is now reasonably priced and should be considered by every gamer or overclocker as a basis of their gaming or overclocking rig.


Graphics Card & Memory


Graphics Card: Asus V9999/TD (127 MB RAM)   Memory: Corsair TwinX 1GB (512x2) DDR400 CL2
Approximate Retail Price:
RM 2,270


While the dust is still settling in this round of the video wars, we do know that the new generation of video cards from nVidia and ATI are twice as fast as the previous generation in many benchmarks. We also found in our testing of the new nVidia nForce3-250 chipset that it performs a bit better with an nVidia graphics card. With that in mind, we included a GeForce 6800 in our gamer and overclocking system to match the nForce3-250 based MSI K8N Neo Platinum. Corsair is well known for its high performance memory. Although Socket 754 mainboards do not support dual channel architecture, having a matched pair means that you won't need to get new RAM when you upgrade to a Socket 939 mainboard. 1 GB RAM is almost a standard for gaming PCs and the Corsair RAM delivers both performance and reasonable cost.


If you intend to overclock your system, Corsair TwinX is also available in DDR 500 speed grades.


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