Build It: Last year's $800 gaming PC was a bargain, but had significant compromises. This year's model is an $800 hot-rod gaming rig that offers impressive performance. What a difference a year makes!
|Product||MSI K8N Neo4-F|
|Pros:||One of the least expensive nForce 4 boards on the market|
|Cons:||No FireWire, no SATA-II|
|Summary:||Gets you into nForce 4 goodness on the cheap, and is ready for dual-core CPUs later on.|
Kingston, Corsair, OCZ, Crucial… when you're buying basic DDR400 RAM without concern for extreme low latencies or overclockability, the brand is less important than the price. We found a good deal on Kingston modules (
check prices), but memory prices fluctuate perhaps more than any other component. Just make sure you stick with a major name brand. Some of the off-brand stuff can be flaky, and we frequently hear reports of users running into problems with it.
It was a major goal to populate our system with 1GB of RAM, up from the 512MB in our previous
$800 Gaming PC. Many games these days benefit from more than 512MB of RAM, especially massively multiplayer online games that frequently load a wide variety of textures in those areas crowded with unique players.