Articles & Editorials: Hardware Guide #3


Once again, there isn’t much to report in the processor field. The Athlon has launched the new Thoroughbred core, but the lack of 512KB of L2 cache has left it slightly behind the P4. No new clock speeds have been attained, and there isn’t any other news in the processor department.


The new boards that support the 2.53GHz P4s are on the market, and are looking quite good. Tom’s Hardware Guide reviewed 9 of them, and give you an idea of which to buy. There is also an article recommending a board for your new Athlon XP using the KT333 chipset from VIA. There are 18 motherboards in this trial. Here’s the links for the P4 Mobos and the Athlon XP Mobos. Enjoy!

Video Cards

Not much new in the video department, other than the release of Nvidia‘s Cg programming language. It is designed to make programming graphics easier and more memory efficient. What used to take several lines of C++ code can be done in one or two lines of Cg code. It is apparently DirectX and OpenGL compatible, and we can expect to see it used in the first set of DX9 games. Speaking of DX9, it is still on track for a September release, and Nvidia is poised to release its DX9 board “NV30” shortly thereafter. I haven’t heard what the new name for the board is, but what little I’ve heard from the E3 buzz was positive. ATI is also has an awesome card set for release with DX9, and it was used at E3 to power the Doom 3 demo. This is the reason very little footage of Doom 3 has been released. But, it will be another 3 months until the boards are announced, and probably another month or two before they start to appear on store shelves.

System Configurations

I’ve been pricing out my computer every week for the last 6 months. I’ve continued to upgrade it as new things have come out, and now that I am ready to build it, things are looking better than ever. In the last month, the price of my machine has gone down by $400 CDN. Since the last quarter of 2002 is going to herald forth a lot of new hardware, prices on current hardware are rock bottom. So for this month’s specs, I’ll reveal the system I’m building.

Rogue Leader’s System

  • Athlon XP 2100+
  • Gigabyte GA-7VRXP
  • 512MB Corsair PC-2700 DDR DRAM
  • Seagate 80GB Hard Drive
  • Asus V8460 Deluxe Geforce 4 Ti4600
  • Soundblaster Audigy OEM
  • LiteOn 16x DVD-ROM
  • LiteOn 40x12x48 CD-RW
  • Logitech Optical Wheelmouse
  • Logitech Internet Navigator Keyboard

Now, I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t a high-end system any more. The P4 2.53GHz processor takes the cake in that category, but I’m using AMD because I like AMD, and I can always overclock ;). Besides, with Oberon launching at the end of the year, paying $325 CDN for a powerful processor that I’ll be replacing within a year sounds better than paying over $700 CDN. Well, there’s the latest from the world of hardware. As always, e-mail me if you have any questions or comments. I love the feedback, and if you have any problems with your computer, swing by our Tech Support forums and we’ll do our best to help you out! Happy gaming!

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