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Kim Komando


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#1
admin

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I've been subscribing to a lot of email newsletters lately to "borrow" some ideas for ours. I've meet the guy that runs the newsletters for Kim Komando, and finally got around to subscribing. It claims to have 5 million subscribers, and is full of self promotion, but that's another topic. Check out this Q&A featured in a recent edition:

KILLER TIP--THE WEEKLY QUESTION SENT IN FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

Q. I've recently gotten into gaming, thanks to my son. It's a great way to spend time together. But our computer is a few years old. I would like to surprise my son with a new computer. What should I look for?
Mark in Baltimore, listening on WBAL 1090 AM


A. If you want a first-rate gaming computer, you'll have to spend some money. Games are the most advanced, most demanding consumer programs. Therefore, you need powerful components.
First, look at processors. Buy a high-end chip. In fact, you should probably buy the most powerful one you can find. Otherwise, you might find yourself upgrading the machine relatively quickly.

I would recommend an AMD Athlon 64 FX or a new Intel Core 2 Duo chip. These are perfect for gamers.

Next, look at the RAM installed on the machine. Settle for no less than 1 GB.

Selecting RAM can be confusing. If you're looking at DDR2, you might see a number like PC2-4200. The number indicates the bandwidth in gigabytes per second. For example, PC2-4200 has a bandwidth of 4.267 GB/s. PC2-6400 has a bandwidth of 6.4 GB/s. In a gaming machine, more is better.

Graphics cards are also important. Choose a card with a lot of memory – at least 256 MB. This means the graphics card can use its own memory when rendering images. It won't drain the system's RAM.

Your video card should also have a high frame rate. This means it refreshes the screen faster than cards with a low frame rate. A high frame rate will make movement on the screen smoother, more realistic.

If you can afford it, go for SLI graphics cards. These are two graphics cards that are connected for greater performance. I have a tip about that on my site.

There are other considerations. One is cooling. The powerful components in a gaming machine consume a lot of energy. They get really hot and can cause problems down the line.

If you buy a pre-built gaming machine, this probably won't be an issue. The manufacturers will take cooling into consideration.

But if you build your own, make sure you have a strong power supply and an adequate fan. You'll probably end up with multiple fans inside your machine: one on the processor, one on the graphics card, one on the power supply, and maybe a few more for good measure.

You should also think about the sound card. Some are optimized for gaming. They'll reproduce crystal-clear sounds, such as glass breaking or wood splintering. Surround sound is also nice – it will help you immerse yourself in games.

The hard drive is important, too. You want a roomy hard drive (250 GB minimum) to store games. The operating system probably isn't very important. However, I'd opt for Windows XP Media Center edition if available.

You won't want to skimp on the monitor. A cheap monitor will undermine your graphics. Get a 19" monitor, at least.

Watch the response time. This is measured in milliseconds. The lower, the better. I would look for something in the 3ms range. And make sure the image is bright and crisp. Go to the store and have a look.

Of course, if you have a flat panel television, you probably can connect your computer to it.

And when you buy a monitor, you should make sure it is HDCP-compliant. That way you can watch high-definition video on it.

If I helped you today, help me.

Tell some of your friends and family members about my newsletters and show. We've got a handy form on the Web site set up just for that. Thank you!

Make it a terrific weekend!
Kim:)

The bold text is mine. Wow, just wow. She has 10 million listeners and 5 million subscribers?

Games are the most advanced, most demanding consumer programs. Therefore, you need powerful components.

Agreed! :whistling:

I would recommend an AMD Athlon 64 FX or a new Intel Core 2 Duo chip

I would never recommend an FX or Pentium EE chip. You often pay a 50% premium for a single digit performance advantage. These are for people that have to be on the bleeding edge, and have too much money. Sure, you'll have the fastest system available... for a few weeks.

For example, PC2-4200 has a bandwidth of 4.267 GB/s. PC2-6400 has a bandwidth of 6.4 GB/s. In a gaming machine, more is better

This is not true. Memory speed is matched to the motherboard. Buying faster RAM than your motherboards front side bus will support will do you NO good, unless you plan to overclock.

Your video card should also have a high frame rate

huh? :blink: I know what she means, but try to buy a video card by comparing frame rates. :help:

If you can afford it, go for SLI graphics cards

SLI may provide an upgrade path, but in almost every case you can getter better performance buy purchasing the next level of faster video card. When you reach the top end, the CPU will be the bottle neck. Two of them will offer no advantage.

You should also think about the sound card. Some are optimized for gaming. They'll reproduce crystal-clear sounds, such as glass breaking or wood splintering

Even the lowest end integrated sound device will provide very good output. Speakers have a much larger impact on the sound quality. There are reasons to invest in a discrete sound card, but it has more to do with shifting load off the CPU than actual sound quality.

The operating system probably isn't very important. However, I'd opt for Windows XP Media Center edition if available

Media Center for a gaming system? Why?!

Watch the response time. This is measured in milliseconds. The lower, the better. I would look for something in the 3ms range

3ms? There are monitors that advertise this speed, but it has more to do with how they measure speed more than actual performance. Anything under 16ms or under is good for gaming, 8ms or under is excellent.

The guy is looking for recommendations for a system to spend more time with his son gaming. She's recommending a $3,000+ system, when about a $1,500 dollar system would do as well. Or even better, buy an Xbox360. :)

What about hard drive? SATA, cache, RPM load time will affect a gaming experience. Peripherals? As I already mentioned speakers are important, so is the mouse.

What do you think? Good advice?
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#2
warriorscot

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In laughing, this person clearly knows nothing about building computer systems, its how to build a rubbish over expensive system alot of that advice is wrong or stupid in its lack of detail.

Now i wouldnt quite go as far as a console now thats just a step to far but that advice is rubbish, in fact i would phone up and say so.

She gives a bad name to women computer techs.
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#3
Johanna

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Okay, so her advice is incomplete and inaccurate. What does her being a female have anything to do with that? With NewEgg and Dad's credit card I could build the kid a screamer for a grand. Her website calls her a "digital goddess". Puh-leeeze.
Johanna
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#4
coxmaster

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The operating system probably isn't very important. However, I'd opt for Windows XP Media Center edition if available

Media Center for a gaming system? Why?!


Ya Media Center for a gaming PC is a bad idea. There are some games that wont run on media center. Plus its not a whole lot better.

Edited by coxmaster, 08 September 2006 - 04:38 PM.

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#5
troonorth

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Kommando has been giving this kind of advice over the American air waves for years. Lately she has become a shill for Apple. Many of her subscribers are leaving because they are tired of the constant and undeserved drum beat for i-anything. It has been suggested that she should just get it over with and put a great big apple logo on her web site. :lol:

Other than being a source for free downloads of off-brand software, Kommando has become a joke. And now that most of us have grown up with computers,her level of expertise is of use to seniors or those who are dangerously ignorant and probably shouldn't be messing around with a computer or the internet! :help:
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#6
sari

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Really? How hard did you search to find a topic that was 5-1/2 years old?
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