Graphics Card: PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 Myst Edition 2GBD5-2DHPPV3E
By now, you're probably pretty familiar with PowerColor’s AX7870 Myst Edition. Last quarter, three-quarters of our builds relied on this Tahiti LE-based board. Our bonus configuration sported two of them in CrossFire, in fact. Humorously, the biggest criticism my $600 setup endured came from gamers who thought this very card should have swept all of our budgets, no matter what it took to cram it in.
As the only Radeon HD 7870 with a Tahiti GPU at our disposal, PowerColor's board gives us the most performance available for $250, sporting a 925 MHz base and 975 MHz boost frequency, 1536 shaders, and 2 GB of 1500 MHz GDDR5 memory.
Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKX 500 GB
Western Digital’s Blue-series WD5000AAKX gives us a balance between capacity, performance, and cost. The 500 GB SATA 6Gb/s-capable drive comes with 16 MB of cache, a 7200 RPM spindle, and a limited two-year warranty.
- Colliding Interests Shape Our Mini-ITX Effort
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Just Enough Overclocking To Game...
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Gaming Performance Summary
- Can We Really Call This Better For Gaming?