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Buying The Right Parts

As humans, we just have to measure the worth of things using some sort of value. It can be objective or subjective but no matter which metric we choose, it allows us to compare stuff and decide on their worth. In life, we can use our senses, observations and logical reasonings to form these deductions.

However, such subjective methods cannot help much when it comes to computers. For example, if you compare two different processors, how would you know which is faster? By the size of those processors or their cost? Now, how ridiculous would that be? My processor is faster than your processor because it's bigger!

For the best comparisons of PC hardware, we need objective metrics. Even the long-abused MHz and GHz are useful as measures of performance when applied properly. So, this guide will be using a combination of objective metrics in helping you decide on the right parts for your PC. This will be an on-going work and will be updated as necessary.

This guide will take up many pages, so for your convenience, we have taken the liberty of splitting it up into several small sections.


Buying The Right Parts

Buying Guide

Platform Flexibility
Performance Per Watt & Heat

Architecture & Design
Pipeline Length
Production Process

Clock Speeds
Bus Speeds
Special Features
Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE)
Independent P-States
Simultaenous Multithreading (SMT)
No Execute Bit / Execute Disable Bit

Buying Guide

Buying A Motherboard
Motherboard Layout
Motherboard Cooling
Fan Headers
Thermal Management
General Motherboard Features
Additional Controllers
Legacy Ports
Multi GPU Technology
PCI Express Lanes
Debug LEDs
Advanced Selection Criteria
Dissipation Factor
Load Life
Solid Or Liquid?
Brand Factor
Capacitor-less Motherboards
Power Delivery
PWM & Regulator Quality
Power Phases
Digital PWM

Buying Guide

Buying Memory
RAM Performance For Newbies
RAM Performance For Enthusiasts


Memory Chip
Athlon 64 Memory Controller Limitations

Hard Drive
Buying Guide

Buying Hard Drives
Performance Features
Reliability & Other Factors

Sound Card
Buying Guide

Buying A Sound Card
For Gamers
Frames Per Second
CPU Usage

Hardware Voices
Environmental Audio
3D Audio
For Audiophiles
Signal To Noise Ratio (SNR)
Frequency Response
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
Intermodulation Distortion (IMD)
Dynamic Range
DC Blocking Capacitors
OpAmp Quality
ASIO Support
SPDIF Accuracy & Clock Jitter

General Features
DTS & DD Decoding
Extra Ports

The End

Parting Words

Next Page : Processors, Performance >>>


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