Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has updated his "Best of Kit" list in his blog on ZDNet. It's pretty comprehensive and breaks down each component category into high-end, mid-range, and budget items. Here is an example for his entry on graphics cards:
Extreme - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
There's a lot to like about NVIDIA's latest powerhouse graphics card. The GTX 295 is the fastest, most powerful single card solution currently available, boasting the very best 3D performance currently available.
The GTX 295 is a dual-GPU solution, but since the two GPUs are integrated onto the single card, and the software drivers handle all the SLI stuff, getting dual-GPU power is now easier than ever.
Price: $500Mid-range - NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX+
Can't spring for a GTX 295, but want something a little bit special? Check out the GeForce 9800GTX+. This card is ideal for the gamer running a 22″ screen and can pump out the pixels at a rate to keep the current game lineup running smoothly.
A great card and a fantastic price.
Price: $180Budget - NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT
The NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT is great performer. In fact, for the price point it's by far the best card you could choose for the job.
This card will happily run the likes of Crysis, Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 and deliver graphics that are more than acceptable as long as you keep the settings to a modest level.
Brand wise, I suggest you look at the 9800 GT offerings from EVGA or XFX.
Do you have a standard list of manufacturers and favorite components that you go back to time after time, or do you always shop around to see what's the latest and greatest? Check out Adrian's picks and see if you think there are any big misses on the list. You can share them here.
Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and IT Security blogs.