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  TechSpot's High-end PC Buying Guide

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Future Considerations…

As you likely already know, technology never rests. The following are noteworthy technologies worth looking forward to.

ATI’s answer to the GeForce 7800?

Currently unrivaled in performance, nVidia is sitting smugly atop the graphics mountain. In the meantime, ATI is brewing up its latest Radeon R5xx chip “Fudo” built upon 0.9 micron technology and some very impressive specs. If you aren’t burned out on the graphics race yet, it will be interesting to follow ATI as they play catch-up with nVidia.

Windows Vista

Just entering beta phase, Microsoft’s latest OS is getting closer to completion. While there’s no solid deadline for the operating system’s retail debut, we can expect at least another year and a half before it hits the shelves. Once dubbed Longhorn, Vista will offer a host of new features and a completely redesigned user experience built from the ground up. Vista will encompass Redmond’s latest vision of Windows PCs into the next decade. Definitely keep your eyes on this one, as it has already been a wild ride to the finish line. And from the looks of things, our high-end system guide may just barely meet the recommended specs?

Blu-Ray Ultra Capacity DVD storage/drives

An extension of current DVD technology, Blu-Ray will introduce us to DVD media possibly topping 50GB+ in capacity. Expect to see Blu-Ray media and drives hitting the market in late 2005 / early 2006. If current DVD burners are any indication, we can expect a high price premium during the initial launch followed by a quick tumble in cost as the technology matures.

 

Synopsis - Putting it all together

Outrageous? Nah. Jaw dropping? But of course! This spare-little-expense PC is perfect for the person who’s looking for a killer setup, but isn’t looking for ridiculous ideas or tons of unnecessary hassle and outrageous cost. The price may be a bit stiff for some, but if you want the best you’ll be putting your credit card to good use soon. For the more budget cognizant, it is very simple to skim about $500+ worth of fat off of this porky PC but keep it just as fast. Read below for more information about making the configuration skinnier.

Premium High-End System

~ $4100 plus tax and shipping
As always, the prices are subject to change (you can click for updated information):


Secondary alternative, value high-end system:

~ $3000 plus tax & shipping

 

What’s next?

Despite the finalized price tag, reducing the cost by about $1000 without compromising performance was as easy as:

  • Sacrificing some 10-15% in gaming 3d performance.

  • Downgrade the 24” LCD (About $400 savings).

  • Removing RAID option in favor of a single raptor or large capacity drive (about $130-$170 savings).

  • Settle for more modest set of speakers.

For those of us with more sense than cents, updates for the budgeted buying guides are just around the corner. Make sure to check back for new mid-level & low-end guides as I pick through the best, post-summer buys to build a great performing PC on the cheap. Take care and if you have any comments, please direct them my way or to our forums.

High-end buying guide history

 

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