System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: The Articles
Here are links to each of the four 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.
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With $300 tacked on to my budget for the last System Builder Marathon of the year, my goal was to go out with a bang by targeting hardcore gaming. And when it comes to stacking the performance deck, gaming means graphics processing, so you shouldn't have any trouble guessing where the extra money is going.
With that said, I did make some other interesting changes. For example, I'm using a faster SSD and a larger hard drive for user data.
Functionally, the compromises I made to save money don't have any negative impact. I went with a cheaper (but still-effective) heat sink instead of a closed-loop liquid cooler. You can also see the inexpensive (but good-quality) enclosure in the picture above. And I bought a mid-range (but overclockable) motherboard for tuning performance.
This is the complete list of parts purchased from Newegg for today's $1600 Enthusiast build.
|$1600 Enthusiast System Components|
|Motherboard||Asus Z87-PLUS, LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express||$163|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4670K: 3.4 GHz Base Clock Rate, 3.8 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache||$240|
|Heat Sink||Enermax ETS-T40-TB Air Cooler||$35|
|Memory||8 GB Patriot Viper 3 (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 Model PV38G186C9K||$95|
|Graphics||2 x MSI Gaming N770 TF, GeForce GTX 770 2 GB 256-bit GDDR5||$660|
|System Drive||Samsung 840 Pro MZ-7PD128PW 2.5" 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s (SSD)||$150|
|Storage Drive||Seagate Barracuda 2 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, SATA 6Gb/s||$100|
|Optical||Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner||$18|
|Case||NZXT Gamma Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case||$35|
|Fans||Apevia 140 mm, Rosewill 120 mm ($7 each)||$14|
|Power||Corsair TX750 V2 750 W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Bronze PSU||$90|
| Total Cost||$1600|
You can't get any closer to a budget ceiling of $1600 than this. Of course, since I bought the parts, some prices have changed. Today, the same shopping list will run you $20 more. That's fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, particularly with both Paul and Thomas getting throttled by price increases on AMD's cards.
- Bring On The High-End Graphics
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Cards, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Transcoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- Two GeForce GTX 770s In SLI Are, Obviously, Fast