These days some of us just seem to work, eat, sleep and upgrade our computers, and not in any particular order. In fact, some might even just eat and sleep, so that they can work to finally upgrade their computer. Either way, upgrades have become somewhat of a regular exercise for many enthusiasts.

Unfortunately upgrading can also become very expensive and somewhat time consuming, taking research and what not into account. It is important that you do it right the first time to save you having to repeat the exercise much quicker than anticipated.

When it comes time to build a new computer or upgrade an existing platform most of us will be doing it according to a set budget, always hoping to get the best bang for our buck. Then depending on our own specific needs we will select components accordingly. Gaming is an obvious category where many enthusiasts fall into and is probably the most difficult crowd to build for, as a perfect balance of components is required.

Furthermore, gamers are a demanding bunch, making them hard to please particularly on a tight budget. As a gamer it is important that you choose all your components wisely, and picking the perfect processor and graphics card combination is of great importance. In the past we have successfully built good quality gaming systems for as little as $600, in fact we just recently built an AM2 gaming system for approximately this price.

Using a lethal combination of affordable AMD and Nvidia hardware, we created a $600 gaming system capable of rendering an average of 120fps in Quake 4 at 1600x1200 with maximum in-game quality settings once overclocked. In standard trim, the AM2 gaming system still delivered a whopping 98fps at this resolution.

There wasn't much this cheap little AM2 rig couldn’t do as it also powered through Prey and X3: Reunion with ease. However, the more expensive Core 2 Duo E6700 system that we compared it to was significantly faster for non-gaming related tasks.

Therefore, today we have decided to try and create a high quality Core 2 Duo system using parts from well-known brand names, for under $1000. This time we are going to build the entire system from the ground up for under $1000 including a 19” LCD monitor.

Given this system includes a Core 2 Duo E6300 processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, a DVD recordable drive, Radeon X1950 Pro, 19" DVI 8ms LCD, 400GB SATAII HDD, ASUS motherboard along with case, keyboard and mouse, we think it is a pretty good buy. For all the juicy details please turn over to the next page...