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Posts Tagged ‘System Builders’

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In this, our last System Builder’s Guide of the month, we take a look at some pants-sweatingly expensive hardware that most of us could only dream of owning. This time, however, there’s a bit of a twist at the end and it’s all thanks to Intel’s launch of the Haswell-E and LGA2011-3 platform later this year. It throws a spanner in the works when considering my highest-value recommendation and it also makes things a bit uncertain for buyers today eyeing out a X79 system. If you’re shopping anywhere at this level, be sure to check out this week’s episode of the guide to know more about why I think you should wait if you have R30,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

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System-builders-600-x-272

We’re back with another System Builders guide and this time we’re ducking into the mid-range segment, covering builds between R11,500 and R16,500. Historically this segment of the guide is the least exciting because the hardware doesn’t vary too much. Occasionally there’s a processor change here, a SSD there and a chipset or board change to support new features but overall, the mid-range market is pretty boring. On the GPU side there’s also a performance gap that makes it difficult to spend more than R3000 on a GPU, especially if you’re playing at 1080p. If you want to see how I’ll address that, follow me after the jump!

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System-builders-600-x-272

The System Builder’s Guide has been around for roughly two years. I started writing this bi-monthly column in March of 2012 and before that I contributed to the System Builder’s thread on the NAG Forums together with JP “Chevron” Dormehl since its inception in 2009. I’ve been writing and compiling these guides ever since and it’s mostly been unchanged in the presentation – a wall of text, some options in green highlights that were linked and a little total at the bottom. Starting from this month to coincide with the April issue of NAG Magazine’s 2014 revamp, I’m switching the look a little bit to something that’s easier to understand and nicer to look at. I can’t promise there won’t be walls of text but I can promise it will be prettier. Follow me after the jump!

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System-builders-600-x-272

Its a little overdue because things are piling up on me now (a write-up about the GTX Titan Black, a mouse review and a few other planned columns) but here it is, the final episode of the System Builder’s Guide for February. We’re looking at the high-end market again and it’s getting into eye-watering levels now. Unfortunately, it looks like the weaker Rand has affected things even more in the higher-end markets and everything this month sees a big price hike. Some of the price hikes are scary while other components don’t see a lot of change. Ultimately, it means that you’ll have to spend more time debating on which hardware you need and which you’ll actually use and compromise on things a lot more in order to stay under budget.

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System-builders-600-x-272

Eish! Another System Builder’s Guide! Man, I don’t know about you guys but the drool is beginning to pile up on my keyboard, mostly because I cannot upgrade my rig for at least another year. This week we’re into the mid-range segment where we enter into a price/performance war. Ultimately, R13,000 is still the sweet-spot for most buyers but prices have shifted dramatically in the last two months. Just yesterday I was helping out a fellow NAGling on the forums with a build for R13k and the end result where I’d tried to squeeze out as much as I could resulted in a very compromised build.

That being said, at least the price increases are manageable and I don’t have to raise or go over the budget too much to fit things in properly. Let’s see what we ended up with this week.

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System-builders-600-x-272

Its time for our System Builders Guide once again and there’s some magic in the air this February – no, it’s not love, but it is lower-priced SSDs. Grabbing a 120GB SSD for your rig has never been easier than now and things are only going to drop lower now. If you’re on the fence about including one in your budget, perhaps this month’s guide will persuade you. Today we’re diving into the budget segments and introducing a new, low-end setup that should squeeze into even the tightest budgets. A shift in the GPU market has also affected many of my builds for better and worse, but I’ll explain why later. Dive in!

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System-builders-600-x-272

Here it is ladies and gents! The last System Builders guide for 2013. Its been quite a year for the tech industry and things are going to get even more interesting next year with CES 2014 opening cans of worms in every direction as new disruptive technologies move to shape the future of the desktop PC. For now, though, its still very familiar and friendly and that’s what I hope will remain with the platform as is morphs throughout next year – that it remains friendly, easy to jump into and easy to customise. For now, lets dig into the high-end builds and see what your money gets you. Caution! Excessive drool ahead.

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System-builders-600-x-272

We’ve arrived at the second episode of our System Builders Guide for this month and we’re so, so close to either buying those presents that you’ve got on the list that you still need to purchase, or nearing the day when you can rip off the pretty foil that covers the gifts your loved ones are giving you. Either way, it’s Ho-Ho-Ho time everywhere and the festive season craze has now gripped everyone. What better way to prepare than to show someone this list of extremely tempting computer hardware in the hope that they’ll buy one of these things for you? Hit that button and start planning your convincing arguments!

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Its baaaack! For the last time this year we’re running through our System Builders guide and its running right up in the festive season. So if you’re looking for a kickass rig for a loved one, or a simple system that doesn’t need to play everything with super-high graphics details, this is the guide to look out for. We begin this December with the low-end part of the guide, starting from the lowly R4500 budget stretching all the way to R9000 Hop inside to see what your money can get you this December!

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Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the final episode of the System Builder’s Guide for October. Its a special day today because Battlefield 4 is now out and available! Although we won’t get the game for a while yet locally (its a 1st November launch for us) it’s still one of the most anticipated games of this year and will surely accompany a flurry of upgrades and new systems being built to power the online wars that will be played out on the DICE servers. Its also a pretty demanding game in its own right and looks incredible, especially in the single-player campaign. So lets get down to the high-end builds where it’s all about the speed.

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