For the past few weeks we have presented you with our $1500 Budget Badass and $2500 Power User PC. This week we’re bringing to the table our picks for a $2500 Pro Gaming PC. With significant price cuts since our last Pro Gaming PC build-it guide, we were able to give our gaming PC some extra juice so system lag can no longer be blamed for missing a crucial headshot. Many parts have not changed since the last update, but with new hardware technology coming soon to the computer industry, be prepared for some significant tweaks next month. But for now, here’s what we got.
Would you build it differently? If so, we would love to hear how you would do it in the comments!
Last week we updated our Budget Badass to reflect the current price drops and made some improvements in hardware. This week we are shifting our focus to the power user. Shifting our focus also means shifting our cost up, but a higher budget means better hardware and faster performance. We've made a couple of adjustments to the video card and CPU as well as adding a second hard drive while taking your suggestions into consideration. While the final cost of this build exceeds a little past the $2500 mark, we believe the extra performance gain is well worth it. Keep in mind this is a Power User's PC, where our main focus is on utilizing the power of the processor through multitasking and multimedia programs. Read on to see our new setup for this Power User beast.
It’s the worst kept secret in the industry: Intel’s next-generation Penryn killer, codenamed Nehalem is just around the corner. We’ve been seeing leaked benchmarks based on early silicon for months, and Nehalem’s Wikipedia page is already packed with unconfirmed specifications. All indications – and this is with more optimizations to come, mind you – is that Nehalem may be a bad mother worthy of having Isaac Hayes pound out a theme song for it.
OK, we get it. It’s going to be fast, but just how difficult is it to build a Nehalem rig? What are the catches? Will the new motherboard and socket require some silly new BTX form factor? To find out, we convinced one of our hardware contacts (who’ll remain unnamed) to let us into its lab so we could finally get our hands on the new chip. There, we were provided with the desktop version of Nehalem – called Bloomfield – and an Intel D58XSO “Smackover” board.
Read on to see how we built the Nehalem rig, and what surprises we encountered along the way!
Last week, we showed you which parts you would want to buy to construct a killer $2500 PC. The purpose of that machine was power computing – serious audio/video editing and high-bitrate media transcoding. We got a lot of flak about a few of our choices (most noticeably the CPU), but we stand by our picks. That PC configuration was meant for Power Users, and not hardcore gamers (though we recognize that those aren’t mutually-exclusive groups). For someone who primarily uses their PC for gaming, and won’t accept framerate dips in 120Hz games, we have different recommendations. The following components make up our ideal $2500 hardcore gaming rig (prices as listed on Newegg). If it’s not what you’d buy, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
Here’s something I noticed today while snapping up photos hundreds of cosplayers: they each have a unique pose prepared when other attendees or photojournalists ask to take their picture. It’s actually quite entertaining to watch, really. A dressed-up costumer will just be walking by, casually chatting away with their friends, and then they’ll suddenly execute a unique pose and mug for the camera if they anticipate a shutter click. I’d like to imagine that these cosplayers practice modeling their poses in front of a mirror before stepping foot in public.
But on to the kick-ass sights I saw today. Warner Brothers held a large panel to promote the upcoming Watchmen movie; director Zack Snyder brought the entire starring cast to answer questions from fans and show off never-before-seen footage. The cast really looked and sounded like they loved the material and immersed themselves into their roles. Confirmed: Patrick Wilson’s Nite Owl will indeed be balding, fat, and impotent when he’s out of costume. Matthew Goode, who plays Ozymandias, also pointed out that he played the character with the idea that Veidt was the son of Nazis.
Click the jump to see more awesome costumes, and to find out who I bumped into on the show floor today.
When was the last time you updated your bookmarks? We're betting it's been awhile, and if you've been truly neglectful, you'll probably find several broken links as you scroll through your favorites. Like your underwear, it doesn't hurt to change things up every now and again, if for nothing else than to keep things interesting. Your personal hygiene may not be at stake, but your pride as a power user is.
With that in mind, we've scoured the web to bring you seven unique bookmarks that run the gamut from useful to wacky, along with a couple of old favorites that never go stale. Change your skivvies if it's been a few days since you last did, then hit the jump to breathe new life into your daily online routine.
Who knew geeking out could be so tiring. The first full day of Comic-Con is over, and our legs are already worn out. But before we collapse in fatigue, we wanted to share with your some more awesome sights from the show floor. We spotted hundreds of cosplayers (don't worry, we'll be posting photos of them ALL after the event), B and C-grade celebrities (Captain Sisko from Deep Space Nine!), and even some surprise announcements from the movie presentations (Tron 2 is in the works, starring Jeff Bridges). Some quick impressions of the Max Payne footage shown today at the 20th Century Fox panel: the movie looks like it's taking the story seriously, and bullet-time shots are definitely different from what you've seen in the Matrix or John Woo films. The film apparently utilizes a camera that can shoot at 1000 frames per second -- one scene we saw slowed the firing of a single shot down to over half a minute. Another big surprise from that panel: Hugh Jackman made an unannounced appearance to show off the first footage from the Gavid Hood directed Wolverine movie. Gambit and Deadpool are confirmed to appear. Awesome!
These ladies can barely contain their excitement for Ghostbusters. Click through the jump for more geek-out photos.
So much geeking out to do, with so little time to do it. We’re just about to head back to the San Diego Convention Center to join the 100,000 pop culture fans who’re ready to storm into the show floor. But before we head out to attend today’s festivities (which include a Max Payne movie presentation and Science Fiction discussion panel), we wanted to share with you our favorite snapshots from yesterday’s Preview Night. Families in cosplay, movie props, toys, and geek babes – wish you were here to see it all!
With the ripe combination of portability and power, today’s notebooks are becoming increasingly popular and replacing desktops as primary computers. And one notebook accessory that many consumers seem to be keeping their eye on is notebook stands. These angled risers that sit on your desk provide ergonomic and organizational solutions to transform a notebook into a makeshift desktop station. But which stand is right for you? Looking for a stand with passive or fan cooling? Or is a stand with comfortable ergonomics and stylish aesthetics more important? What if you want one with a little bit of everything? With these various factors in mind, we tested 11 different notebook stands to see if they’re any better than just putting a notebook on top of a few stacked phonebooks (which in many cases, they weren’t).
Earlier this month, we ran a feature showing you which parts to buy if you wanted to build an affordable-yet-kick-ass $1300 lean machine. This week, we’re moving up from budget PC recommendations to our power user picks. But with great power, comes great cost. Monetary costs, that is. Our Power User’s PC costs $2500 without a monitor of peripherals – the high end of what we’d expect a PC enthusiast to spend when pieceing together a new rig. We also want to clarify what we mean by Power User’s PC. We see the Power User as someone who maximizes his PC’s processing potential. This person encodes media files, burns high-definition discs, and manipulates image, audio and video files. Gaming is important to the Power User, but this isn’t someone who demands 120 frames per second in multiplayer shooters – he’d rather shave precious seconds off of his video encoding times while multitasking in Photoshop.
Click through to see if our $2500 Power User's PC is right for you!