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Introduction
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Building Your Gaming RIG
Page 1 of 3
Author: wilfred
Date of review: 03-August-1998
Type Of Review: Articles/Editorials

Introduction
It is already an undeniable fact that games are most often the power hungry software we have in our PCs. If it hadn't been that dreaded Unreal or F-15 Eagle you had wanted so much to play, you wouldn't have bought your hyper-souped up PC.

"In many ways, the rate of game advancement dictates the rate which we throw yesterday's power rig away"


This will definitely ring a bell in many gamers out there and I've already grown familiar with Kan lamenting about having to upgrade his computer each time a new series of Wing Commander is released by Origin.

In many ways, the rate of game advancement dictates the rate which we throw yesterday's power rig away. So what is it? Tell me what I have to have so as to enjoy all the eye candy and silky smooth gameplay?


Real-Time Strategy Game



First Person Shooter


Just ask yourself this - What games do you play?! Are you the strategy type or the arcade/simulation type? The latter representing the power hungry extreme.

"The astounding rate of technological progress in the field of graphics accelerators makes it such that you simply have to get the best for the lowest price!"


In this article, I'll attempt to advice on the best buy suited for your gaming needs, concentrating on the Processor, Mainboard, Video card and Sound card.

Processor & Mainboard
3 months back, I was in a great dilemma choosing between the high-end Pentium II and the low cost K6-3D chip.

"There is nothing that beats the Celeron 300A + Abit BH6 bundle now. Absolutely no competition!"


Both would have sufficed for all my gaming needs but both attracted me in a different way. The PII was faster at business applications like Photoshop etc, but the K6-3D costs only half the PII chip. This meant that I could spend the spare cash on a better video card, a bigger harddisk or a bigger monitor.

I ended up buying the more expensive PII due to better BX mobos in comparison to the problematic Super7 boards available at that time.

"There is nothing that beats the Celeron 300A + Abit BH6 bundle now. Absolutely no competition!"




"No longer will you have to rip open your casing, mess around with screws, mingle amongst overhanging wires and trying to shaft your gigantic fingers in between the spaces to shift those tiny jumpers! Those bad days are long gone!"


So what's the situation now? It has became a no brainer decision! There is nothing that beats the Celeron 300A + Abit BH6 bundle now. Absolutely no competition! For a mere S$480, you'll get yourself the MOST powerful CPU/Mainboard solution! (as long as you're game enough to overclock this dexterous processor!)

In many cases, the success or extend of a chip's overclockability lies in the amount of heat generated as well as the speed of the inherent cache memory. Since the 300A was built upon the 0.25 micron Deschutes core, heat issues were virtually non-existent.

But we also learnt that Intel was going to include 128Kb of L2 cache with the chip. Many overclocking fanatics feared that this spelled the end of the ultra-overclockable line of Celeron processors.

However, the fears were unfounded. The 128Kb cache was implemented right on the processor die itself and this not only did not hamper the chip's overclockability, it also gave it a performance edge unmatched by even the PII 450 at the same clock speed!!



Combined with the Abit BH6 board, overclocking the 300A became easy enough for most people to attempt with little help. Using the acclaimed SoftMenu II, adjusting clock speeds, multipliers and core voltages became merely picking your fancied choice on the onscreen selection.

No longer will you have to rip open your casing, mess around with screws, mingle amongst overhanging wires and trying to shaft your gigantic fingers in between the spaces to shift those tiny jumpers! Those bad days are long gone!

For most users, the success rate of achieving 450Mhz using 4.5 X 100Mhz was very high (in the 90% range?). Some lucky ones got 464Mhz (4.5 X 103Mhz) to work while some have even claimed a stable 504Mhz!!! (A whopping 1/2 GigaHz!!!!! using 4.5 X 112Mhz).

"... for under S$270, [the 300A] beats the hell out of a PII-450Mhz with its $1K price tag!"


Kan has succeeded in getting his 300A to work at 450Mhz even with PC66 SDRAM DIMMs brought over from his old computer.

So after overclocking your Celeron 300A, you've effectively got a CPU whose performance exceeds even that of the PII-450Mhz of the same clock rate. All these for under S$270, beats the hell out of a PII-450Mhz! with its $1K+ price tag! A no brainer!



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