Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baseline System (June 2012)

Last month I published our Budget Gaming System Guide. The goal with that guide was to present a solid system with some future-proofing built in. $800, however, is not the cheapest possible gaming system you can build and still be happy with. I'm not willing to go as low as Eurogamer's recent budget build but there is room to cut cost without needless performance sacrifices.

Keep in mind that the Baseline provides very little consideration of future-proofing, continued engine development, and upgrade paths. Quality and resolution settings will vary widely depending on the title but certain titles will struggle at 1080p even with lowest possible quality settings.

The Baseline retains Intel's top Z77 chipset, as I've had nothing but mediocre results with previous H-series boards. I've never used a Biostar board before but reviews seem solid. I'd strongly consider upgrading to an ASUS Z77 board but that's partly because I know from first-hand experience that these boards are solid. I've gamed on systems with similar specs and the experience is a marked improvement over console gaming but a great deal weaker than the Budget system. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for in computing power :)

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