Video Card: GeForce GTX 470
The $1000 budget barely left us with cash for a dual graphics card configuration in the previous marathon. But this time, we wanted to use a single card to give us breathing room for a more well-rounded platform. The good news is that high-end GeForce cards have dropped in price recently, and this has opened up the possibility of using Nvidia's GeForce GTX 470.
The GeForce GTX 470 has always been a powerful card, but the $350+ release price was too hard to stomach with the Radeon HD 5850 retailing for just under $300. This situation has changed dramatically, and with the GeForce available in the same ~$300 price range as the Radeon, it is now the recommended card.
For this particular system, we chose the MSI N470GTX-M2D12, a model that costs $300 with the instant rebate on Newegg. It’s a fine GeForce GTX 470 specimen based closely on the reference design with 1280 MB of GDDR5 RAM on a 320-bit memory interface.
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-650TX
The Corsair CMPSU-650TX should be able to supply ample power for our Core i5-750 platform and accompanying GeForce GTX 470 graphics card.
Its 52 A +12 V rail provides more than enough juice to handle the most graphically-demanding tasks we throw at this system, and for $90, we certainly can’t complain about its price.
PC Case: Antec Three Hundred
The $1000 budget cap doesn’t leave us with a lot of room for frills, so we are sticking with Antec’s tried-and-true Three Hundred budget enthusiast case. At $60, we know it can provide the space and quality we need.
- The Balanced System
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Cards, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
- Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Media Encoding
- Benchmark Results: 2D And 3D Graphics
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And Call Of Duty
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
- Power And Temperature Benchmarks