Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Look Before You Leap

Review and Views of Reviewers -
Benchmark Comparisons

In order of my favorites:

Tom's Hardware - If you want to make purchase decisions for yourself, this is where you start. This is site is older than AnandTech and still better. They have insider advise and great articles.

These articles are a bit easier to read and understand than AnandTech.

The site is getting too busy for my taste though. The latest charts are on the right side of the page in the middle.

CPU Charts

VGA Charts

Select the chart with a card you are interested in. Select the software where performance counts the most. Then make a comparison. What I like to do is look at what I have now and compare it to what I'm planning to buy. This will give you an idea of what kinds of performance gains you should see. Sometimes the latest and greatest isn't worth a small jump in performance. Sometimes you ask yourself if its worth waiting for the prices to come down to make that performance leap. If you ever have a tough choice, send me note.

___________________________ - one of my favorites for product reviews and guides - If I need to sell a board or CPU I point my customers here.


AnandTech - One of the first in Flight on the NET and still one of the best. This team is based in NC and is one of the most indepth review sites out there. Even as an electrical engineer, programmer, and IT pro I sometimes find this site a hard read. I do however rely on this site to give me the answers that no one else can. Much of what I shop for tends to be too low budget for these guys but in many cases that same review is helping me make purchase decisions a couple of years later. I remember when Anand was still in highschool. I had this idea the same time he did but I didn't have the drive and motivation like I did in high school. A few kids and a new job can slow you down more than you think but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

In the GUIDES section they hand pick CPUs, GPUs (video cards), and even have a budget rig guide. I don't agree with all of the choices. I like my budget rig options better of course. Remember I live with my choices these guys I can guarantee have ultra high end status symbol rigs that they use on a daily basis. They go to a lot of effort making these picks for you. Their recommendations are a great start.

____________________________________ - very nicely written and organized reviews. I surf through here often to read the latest articles. They cover a nice range of hardware.


HardOCP - Hard Core Gaming Meets Hard Core Hardware. I guess living in mom's basement allows you to put the rent on that super gaming rig. What I don't understand is how you can afford the hardcore gaming rig, the cost of the games, and the time to play them and still have a job. Maybe mom is the hardcore gamer.


The Tech Report - This is a sweet looking web site and has a great lineup if industry news. Whats new, great article layout and navigation, indepth detail, and nice clean comparisons and benchmarks.


System Optimized - stiff - check out the tutorials. Many of these are worth the read.


CNET.COM - great price comparisons, so-so reviews. This site is popular.

I look at it more like a high end consumer reports for consumer electronics. They had some great ideas and great talent. Now the site is getting more and more difficult to navigate. In some cases you are looking at advertising thinking its objective unbiased reporting or reviews.

Many of these sites get a commission from retailer for products you buy when you link through their site. CNET has a big advantage here. It may be something for these other sites to consider.

If you help me find a product help me find the best price and you get to keep a commission for bringing me, the customer, together with the retailer.

__________________________________ - Great reviews and doesn't really fit being close to the bottom. Check it out and let me know what you think. Maybe we can give it a push. I have been a fan of this site for so long but I seem to get a bit more of what they do well at some of the other sites listed above. So there is nothing that sets this site appart from the rest. I never really considered sharks bottom feeders.

HardwareCentral - not much nice to say - I would rather pick through the dumpster for advise.

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