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Thoughts on May System Builder Marathon?

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May 27, 2009 7:03:49 AM

For your convenience, here they are:

The $2,500 Performance PC
The $1,300 Enthusiast PC
The $600 Gaming PC

So what do you think of Tom's picks? Personally, that DFI mobo on the $2,500 rig is a bit questionable, given the brands rep. Liking the $600 PC though, may actually order the parts from NewEgg. :D 
May 27, 2009 11:38:26 AM

I was just wondering why in SBM, they never include a standalone sound card. Which leads me to my question, is there even any point to buying a standalone sound card? Is the sound quality of the integrated sound as good as any offering that, say Creative has in its lineup?
May 29, 2009 9:01:23 AM

Critique of the graphics choice on the $2500 build:

I think that quite possibly 3 x GTX 285 in SLI is a better option than dual 295's. However 3 cards are not going to fit very well in microATX so that leaves that option out. 2 x VapoX 4890's however might be an excellent option - and with those coolers there should be some room for overclocking past the 1Ghz mark.
What do you guys think?

Vapo X:
http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_c...
Related resources
May 29, 2009 4:27:32 PM

I thought it was one of the most interesting SBM to date. The 600 dollar PC was awesome, and I'm going to order one so my GF can play a few games she enjoys and when she gets bored I'll add it as a bedroom HTPC.

The 2500 dollar system was overpowered for what they wanted, but in all honesty, I have a similar specced system (when my silverstone case comes in I'm gonna build the same system with a better cooler for some OC comparison) and it's perfect on a 30 inch monitor.

The mid build was a total disappointment. If they were going with a portable system build then they should have all been subject to the same or similar size constraints. The fact that they took a MUCH larger case, and fit a full sized cooler basically ruined the whole comparison testing.

It's also about time that they include a 30 inch monitor so that we can see what the extra cash for 2 GTX295's really gets us. Anybody dropping 2500 to 3 grand on a system either has, or is looking at a 30 inch monitor.

All in all, I thought it was a GREAT series, and hopefully we can mix things up again for the next SBM!
a b B Homebuilt system
May 29, 2009 9:52:49 PM

rrr1431 said:
I was just wondering why in SBM, they never include a standalone sound card. Which leads me to my question, is there even any point to buying a standalone sound card? Is the sound quality of the integrated sound as good as any offering that, say Creative has in its lineup?


There will be a difference in sound quality in the sound with a standalone card. I have a titanium fatal1ty pci-e x1 and it's utterly stunning in quality and crispness compared to the onboard sound on my friends board.

Its not all to do with the sound though, as the graphics card takes graphics duties off the CPU, the soundcard does the same with sound. If you leave it on the motherboard, more than likely the CPU will be left to handle the sound processing alongside everything else, which means smoother running system all round if you're playing COD4 in 5.1 positional...
June 1, 2009 2:56:49 AM

In any case (pun intended), the whole point of the May SBM was to be portable? Now I don't see people bringing 7.1 speakers to a LAN party, so unless you want the best headset audio ever, then a standalone sound card is practically useless?

More so if you're trying to pack gaming performance within a limited budget, right?

Can I be your girlfriend too cokenbeer? :lol:  Seriously, I agree with the need to see 30"-based performance. Got no problems lugging around a 30" display, since it's just "box" compared to the messy speakers...
June 1, 2009 3:04:39 AM

r_manic said:
In any case (pun intended), the whole point of the May SBM was to be portable? Now I don't see people bringing 7.1 speakers to a LAN party, so unless you want the best headset audio ever, then a standalone sound card is practically useless?

More so if you're trying to pack gaming performance within a limited budget, right?

Can I be your girlfriend too cokenbeer? :lol:  Seriously, I agree with the need to see 30"-based performance. Got no problems lugging around a 30" display, since it's just "box" compared to the messy speakers...


Lol, she wants to play TF2 with me, if it keeps her occupied it's well worth the 600+ dollars!

Also, I'm pretty sure that most people who are going to buy a 2500 dollar portable PC will be using it as their home PC as well, hopefully on a 30 inch monitor! Plus, I just picked up the 120hz 22" Samsung monitor, that requires more graphical power!
!