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 Guide, Dual Power for under $2000
By: Steffen Scheibler, September 18, 2002  Print this article

After some looking around for someone who wanted a cheap machine that had high-end specifications I came to the rather surprising conclusion that you could own a dual AMD system equivalent in power to dual Xeon system for under $2000 – and that’s a fact, not a theory that stems from having to buy from 20 different vendors in order to get the cheapest of everything.


The Mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it...

I have never had an original idea in my entire life. I explain this fact by another fact: I was born in Germany. It is not my fault I tell myself, but the fault of my parents; neither of which are German. But obviously the Germans were putting something in the water back in 1973 -- so necessity has to be my mother of invention; didn't someone one say something similar? Anyway, a colleague of mine needs a big machine for little bucks. "I want the Pentagon to pay me for my spare CPU cycles." - sounds almost like some famous last words...

Well, that’s always a tough act to come through on if this person is looking to spend maybe $1,750 at the very most and does a lot of graphical and video editing work. We are looking at a good 512MB – 1024MB of RAM, 100+GB of HDD, DVD Drive, CD-RW Drive and a lot of CPU power. It also needs to be 100% rock solid stable and compatible with a lot of, probably quite bizarre, hardware.

The light at the end of the tunnel

After using more "Build Your Own PC" web-applications and badly designed e-shops than I care to remember, I realized that consistently a dual AMD-rig seemed to offer by far the most performance for the buck -- in the high-end performance range at least. Curiously enough, these machines may not only be the cheapest, but also the most powerful.

I always attempt to buy quality components, preferably from manufacturers that have a good international presence as they usually honor RMAs themselves if your dealer is less than reputable, goes bust or has troublesome technical staff. There is nothing more annoying than buying a component that doesn’t work and then being sent in circles by a dealer that doesn’t care and a manufacturer that only has an address in Taiwan. If you prefer to focus on price only, then you could probably buy an equivalent system for even less money, but with an increased risk.

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