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System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC
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With all of your feedback from last quarter's System Builder Marathon under our belts, this time around, we attempt to fit a no-sacrifice, luxury and performance build into our moderately-high $2000 budget. Will this new build succeed on all fronts?

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: The Articles

Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’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.

To enter the giveaway, please check out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected

Introduction

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could invent a sports car that combined all the luxury of a Bentley with all the performance of a Bugatti? And wouldn’t it be great if that sports car was priced only as high as a fully-loaded Buick? This combination of performance, luxury, and price actually is possible, but only in the world of PCs.

This month’s $2000 build packs a full range of killer performance components (even a pair of top-end SSD drives), without sacrificing luxury features. SilverStone’s gorgeous unibody case promises to improve cooling and reduce noise at the same time, while a Blu-ray burner adds compatibility with the latest optical media. Could this be our most perfect build yet?

$2000 Performance PC Component Prices
MotherboardGigabyte X58A-UD3R LGA-1366
Intel X58 Express, ICH10R
 $210
ProcessorIntel Core i7-950 3.06 GHz Quad-Core $295
MemoryMushkin 998586 6 GB, DDR3-1333 Triple-Channel Kit $80
Graphics2 x EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR, 1.25 GB GeForce GTX 470 $520
System Drive2 x A-Data S599 64 GB, SATA 3Gb/s SSD $220
Storage DriveSamsung F3 HD103SJ 1 TB, 7200 RPM HDD $70
OpticalLite-On iHBS112 Blu-ray Drive: 12x BD-R, 16x DVD±R $120
CaseSilverStone Fortress FT02B $250
PowerSilverStone ST85F-P 850 W Modular $150
Heat SinkProlimatech Megahalems Rev.B $62
CPU FanDelta AFC1212D-PWM 3400 RPM, 120 mm $23
 Total Cost $2,000


Someone probably noticed by now that we did not pick the fastest parts of each type. But overclocking just might be the secret to getting all that luxury performance into a mid-budget build. All that’s left for us to do is build it, tune it up, and test it!

Display 131 Comments.
  • 0 Hide
    amk09 , December 13, 2010 4:13 AM
    The link to enter the giveaway doesn't work!

    I would love to be first to enter :) 
  • 2 Hide
    micr0be , December 13, 2010 4:18 AM
    i think im gona get a revo 2 drive ssd to upgrade my current build.... all thanks to santa !!
  • 7 Hide
    Tamz_msc , December 13, 2010 4:31 AM
    Its good to know that choosing the wrong memory can affect performance in such a way.
  • 7 Hide
    fstrthnu , December 13, 2010 4:49 AM
    I'm pretty surprised we didn't see Geforce GTX 570s in this build, I guess they got released too late to make it here.
  • 2 Hide
    fstrthnu , December 13, 2010 4:57 AM
    >> First time in recent memory
    "Cough Cough" Lame Pun
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , December 13, 2010 5:01 AM
    Wow that Mushkin memory really jacked up this benchmark.
  • -1 Hide
    kkiddu , December 13, 2010 5:10 AM
    Most perfect build ever ? Just read the configs yet, and I think that's a possibility.

    Now don't skin me if the config proves to be a flop in the coming pages. Just read the first page and couldn't resist a comment.
  • -5 Hide
    hemburger , December 13, 2010 5:16 AM
    Why not replace the two ssd's with a single intel 120gb... same price and now on 35nm
  • -1 Hide
    kkiddu , December 13, 2010 5:17 AM
    I think this one can be trimmed to a very good $1500 build as well. Change the CPU to i5 760, remove one of the cards, one of the SSDs, and you'll need lower capacity PSU for that, let's slash $30-$50 there, you get a very good PC for $1500.
  • -1 Hide
    kkiddu , December 13, 2010 5:23 AM
    And oh, cheapen the case as well. There's no free lunch. You gotta sacrifice some silence to gains some frame rates.
  • 6 Hide
    duk3 , December 13, 2010 5:44 AM
    Get rid of MW2 in benchmarks for Battlefield Bad Company 2 and add in Starcraft 2 in my opinion. Nice computer, that's too bad about the memory.
  • 7 Hide
    gti88 , December 13, 2010 6:12 AM
    Having $2000, I would take i5 760 + 2 x gtx580
  • 1 Hide
    barmaley , December 13, 2010 6:15 AM
    I agree with the people above who mentioned i5 760 and GTX 570. I was thinking the same thing when I saw the config. IMO, $2000 would give you far better performance in games, especially with high resolution and quality:

    GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 - $125
    Intel i5 760 - $205
    Scythe Mugen 2 - 47
    Cooler Master HAF 932 - $140
    GTX 570 2x SLI $700
    Samsung F3 1TB - $70
    Crucial 128GB C300 - $275
    CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - $125
    Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W - $170
    Lite-On iHBS112 Blu-ray Drive: 12x BD-R, 16x DVD±R - $120
    Total: $1977

    All prices without rebates included. The $23 left over can be used to pay for the shipping where applicable. Also, an SSD can be replaced for a cheaper one to save a little money, if that's your thing.
  • 1 Hide
    styrkes , December 13, 2010 6:19 AM
    But isn't this worse than the previous $2000 PC?
  • -1 Hide
    Tamz_msc , December 13, 2010 6:27 AM
    @barmaley
    Everything is fine except the motherboard and here's why:
    http://www.hardware-revolution.com/p55-motherboards-crossfire-sli-performance-problem/
  • 1 Hide
    nyrychvantel , December 13, 2010 6:34 AM
    why is single intel 120GB better than 2x 64GB RAID 0? I thought the later twice the speed than a single SSD?
  • 2 Hide
    gti88 , December 13, 2010 6:44 AM
    $2000 config with TWO gtx 580:
    ASUS Maximus III Formula LGA 1156 - $179
    Core i5-760 - $205
    Noctua NH-U12P - $75
    Kingston DDR3 4gb - $56
    ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ 920W - $200
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2Tb - $100
    COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced Black Steel - $80
    GTX580 x2 (SLI) - $1100

    Total price: $2005
  • -1 Hide
    barmaley , December 13, 2010 6:52 AM
    This build with 2 GTX 580 is nice. The only thing is that a lot people would have a problem paying $2000 and not getting blue ray and SSD. Not that it affects gaming in a big way as much as a good graphics card does, but it still counts.
  • 1 Hide
    nevertell , December 13, 2010 7:08 AM
    gti88$2000 config with TWO gtx 580:ASUS Maximus III Formula LGA 1156 - $179Core i5-760 - $205Noctua NH-U12P - $75Kingston DDR3 4gb - $56ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ 920W - $200SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 2Tb - $100COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced Black Steel - $80GTX580 x2 (SLI) - $1100Total price: $2005

    Good for gaming and nothing else.
  • 3 Hide
    SpadeM , December 13, 2010 7:10 AM
    Probably one of the most balanced (and i mean that in a good way) build i've seen in a while. (though i do miss the exotic 4x4850 from Don a while back, and i do hope u bring that back some day)
    Tamz_mscIts good to know that choosing the wrong memory can affect performance in such a way.

    And yes +1 for that and for Thomas, i'm looking forward to a follow-up article on that specific issue.
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