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Here are links to each of the five articles in this quarter’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon, including the Bonus Customer Choice PC, which we picked out using the highest-rated components in Newegg's feedback system.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out this SurveyGizmo form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!
Up until now, we've used Intel’s Core i5-2500K in our mid-range enthusiast builds without ever having been disappointed. We gave AMD’s lower-priced FX-6100 a chance last time around, but that build wasn’t very successful. Despite its impressive graphics subsystem (a powerful pair of Radeon HD 6950 cards in CrossFire), it just couldn't compete.
I suppose we could crawl back to the Core i5-2500K, begging for forgiveness. It's the safe bet, after all. But we're tired of making it, and we're never going to learn anything new if we go down that road again.
No. This time we’ll try something a little different, and we’ll give up some of the processor and platform budget to make room for a shiny new Radeon HD 7970. We think the result has the potential to be a very capable gaming machine.
|$1250 Enthusiast System Components|
|Motherboard||ASRock P67 Pro3 SE|
LGA 1155, Intel P67 Express PCH
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2400|
3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Max Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper TX3||$20|
|Memory||Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit|
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit
|Graphics||PowerColor Radeon HD 7970|
3 GB GDDR5
|Hard Drive||Crucial m4 64 GB SATA III SSD|
64 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
|Hard Drive||Hitachi Deskstar 750 GB|
750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s
|Optical||Samsung TS-H353C OEM|
|Case||Apevia X-Trooper Junior||$40|
|Power||Corsair TX650 V2 650 W|
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
Prices haven't changed much between the time we ordered our parts and now, although Crucial’s m4 SSD did go up by $5. The original cost of this box ducked in just over our $1250 budget. Now we're slightly north of $1260.