A couple of weeks back, we had a look at the best PC we could build for around Rs. 20,000. Today, we will raise the budget by 10K and build a system that may not necessarily be termed as a Gaming PC but a good all-round PC nonetheless. As I mentioned in my previous guide, we will unleash the monsters after the Finance Minister is done with his yearly announcement.
Note: Version 02.06 = February 2006 edition.
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Socket 939) (Rs. 6,000)
The Athlon 64 3000+ based on the Socket 939 platform continues to be the best midrange CPU in the market. Its core runs at 1.8 GHz and has 128 KB L1 and 512 KB L2 cache and a 1 GHz HyperTransport bus along with an integrated DDR memory controller that supports dual channel DDR RAM. Based on the Venice core, it supports SSE3 instruction set and is a good over-clocker too. To be precise, it is the best processor that you can get for that price.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-K8N51GMF-9 (Rs. 4,700)
ATI with their Xpress 200 (RS480/482) chipsets raised the level of onboard video significantly with the implementation of a DirectX 9.0 compliant chip good enough for entry level gaming. nVidia was late to release their competing solution, but eventually when they did, they released 3 variants - 6100/410, 6100/430 and 6150/430. The Gigabyte GA-K8N51GMF-9 is one of the rare boards based on the 6100 chipset with a 430 Southbridge. The 430 Southbridge doesn't really boost performance but adds a handful of features like Gigabit LAN, extra SATA ports, Firewire etc. along with the usual ones like Dual Channel Memory, PCI Express x16 slot, PCI-E 1X slot, SATA2, USB 2.0, 8-channel audio and a lot more. You also have a Geforce 6 chip driving the onboard graphics which I will discuss later in the article.
RAM: Transcend 2 x 512 MB DDR-400 Memory (Rs 4,400)
Since you will be allocating a part of the main memory for onboard graphics, it makes sense to throw in a bit more RAM. And as of today, 1 GB can't be termed as 'over the top' by any standards. Since the motherboard supports Dual Channel Memory, we will opt for 2 sticks of 512 MB each. Transcend is our preferred brand for this PC.