Page 1:Can $1,000 Buy A High-End PC?
Page 2:Graphics, CPU, And Motherboard
Page 3:DRAM, Storage, And Optical Drive
Page 4:Case, Power, And CPU Cooling
Page 5:Hardware Installation
Page 7:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 8:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 9:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 10:Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
Page 11:Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And StarCraft II
Page 12:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 13:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 14:Results: Productivity
Page 15:Results: File Compression
Page 16:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 17:Could We Have A Value Winner At $1,000?
Case, Power, And CPU Cooling
Cases that include power supplies are my first choice when building on a budget. For instance, Antec's NSK 4480B comes with the company's high-efficiency EarthWatts 380, giving us a solid PSU and a 0.8 mm-thick steel chassis for only $100. But I wasn’t confident that a 380 W power supply would be enough in thise situation.
Case: Rosewill Redbone U3
Slightly thinner (and consequently more prone to flex) than Antec’s solution, Rosewill’s Redbone U3 saves us a bit of cash that we plan to spend on a beefier power supply. And, unlike competitively-priced solutions, the U3’s front-panel USB 3.0 connectors give me the I/O I've been requiring from all case review submissions lately.
With three included fans, the Redbone U3 also offers potential cooling advantages over its competition. That makes us feel a little better, particularly in light of the CPU and GPU cooling limitations we're facing at the $1,000 price point (remember, I'm used to competing with two grand, at least).
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520C 520 W
An 85% efficiency rating qualifies Antec’s Neo Eco for an 80 PLUS Bronze certification, though the company doesn’t apply the Bronze award to this part. It still gives us the added wattage we need to satisfy our maximum theoretical load requirements.
According to 80 PLUS, it takes around 630 W of draw from the wall to generate this unit's 520 W output rating, due to energy lost as heat during conversion. That’s really important to remember, since input power is also used in our efficiency calculations.
CPU Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Cooler Master’s familiar Hyper 212 Plus doesn't necessarily qualify as a high-end performer, but instead provides adequate cooling performance at a great price. Its capabilities make it a great match to a moderately-efficient CPU like the Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 in today’s build.
- Can $1,000 Buy A High-End PC?
- Graphics, CPU, And Motherboard
- DRAM, Storage, And Optical Drive
- Case, Power, And CPU Cooling
- Hardware Installation
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
- Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And StarCraft II
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Could We Have A Value Winner At $1,000?