Buyer's guides offer clues to the clueless

— 10:18 AM on September 22, 2004

The only two PC-oriented web sites for which I've written besides TR are both offering new hardware buyers' guides today, helping folks pick out the right parts for a new box.

Ars Technica has updated its system guide with recommended specs for boxes in three different price ranges, from the lowly budget box (too weak for my tastes!) to the outlandish God Box. Interesting stuff, no doubt. If you want to learn more about those God Box components, let me suggest you read our reviews of the Opteron 250, Tyan Thunder K8W, Terratec DMX 6fire 24/96, M-Audio Revolution 7.1, GeForce 6800 Ultra and Maxtor Atlas 10K IV. Also note our Atlas 10K V review today.

Meanwhile, the cold, HardOCP has formulated the HardOCP 500, a nifty little guide to buying the core components for a fast PC for under $500. Their choices land somewhere in between Ars' "Budget" and "Hot Rod" boxes, very close to the sweet spot for today's hardware.

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1. BIF - $340 2. Ryu Connor - $250 3. mbutrovich - $250
4. YetAnotherGeek2 - $200 5. End User - $150 6. Captain Ned - $100
7. Anonymous Gerbil - $100 8. Bill Door - $100 9. ericfulmer - $100
10. dkanter - $100
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