System Recommendation Guide - December
Memory, Heatsink, Video Card
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Memory – Mushkin PC133 Rev2 222 256MB - $239
Finding good quality, highly overclockable memory can be a challenge. Mushkin has been there for me time and time again. This SDRAM is not cheap, especially considering the recent drop in memory prices. But if you plan on overclocking your system, most notably by the FSB, then getting high quality RAM is a must. The Mushkin Rev2 222 memory has passed tests up to 145 MHz running at a FSB of 108 MHz, stably.
However, if you don’t plan on overclocking, or only plan on overclocking by using the multiplier, it is very possible for you to simply get some of the cheaper 256MB PC133 modules for around $95. This is personal preference that you have to gauge.
Fan / Heatsink – Tai Sol - $20
The Tai Sol HSF is a great, low cost solution that fits on every motherboard available for the Socket A platform. While our recent review of the Super Orb showed it out performing the Tai Sol, it will not fit on our recommended motherboard, without some minor modification. I didn’t feel that recommending a product to an everyday user that need to be sanded down would fit right, so I went to the next best performer. The Tai Sol offers great cooling performance even on those overclocked processors that I am sure you will have using your Abit motherboard. :)
Video Card – GeForce 2 GTS 64MB - $320
This option was pretty easy to choose as well. Any GeForce 2 GTS video card, preferably one with 64MB of memory, should fit the bill nicely. Check out our Hercules 3D Prophet II review for proof of that.
While there are faster cards available, namely the GeForce 2 Ultras, I can’t see the difference in performance worth the additional cost involved. Running at $500+, the Ultras are the best video card on the market for gamers and developers alike, but for our recommendation, we think the GTS chipset will be more than powerful enough for some time to come.