System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: The Articles
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.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out this SurveyGizmo form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!
Last quarter I was given $1300 to build my mid-range enthusiast-oriented system, but I also had to create a capable configuration in a mini-ITX form factor. Since smaller components tend to be more expensive than their standard-sized counterparts, our dollars didn't go as far as they could have. This time around, we're expecting more in an ATX mid-tower chassis.
You're also going to see us go with a larger and more expensive 120 GB SSD, though there's still a conventional disk drive in there for user data. We think the investment is a good one; 128 GB is about right for your operating system and applications, even if it isn't going to score me any bonus points when Thomas tallies up performance at the end of our series.
In the three months since our previous System Builder Marathon, Intel introduced its Haswell architecture, while Nvidia added a number of GeForce GTX 700-series graphics cards. So, the previous build's Core i5-3570K and GeForce GTX 680 are going up against the new Core i5-4670K and GeForce GTX 770 today. In fact, here's the complete list of components you'll find in the third quarter's $1300 enthusiast-oriented machine:
|$1300 Enthusiast System Components|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z87X-OC, LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express||$200|
|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||Corsair H50 Liquid Cooling System||$55|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R||$70|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2 GB 256-bit GDDR5||$400|
|System Drive||Samsung 840 MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s (SSD)||$100|
|Storage Drive||WD Blue WD10EZEX 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, SATA 6Gb/s||$70|
|Optical||Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD Burner||$22|
|Case||Antec GX 700 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case||$55|
|Power||Corsair 650TX 650 W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Bronze Modular PSU||$90|
| Total Cost||$1302|
Good news! This capable collection of components lands very close to the $1300 I was allotted (I'll toss in the extra $2 if I really need to). And prices haven't changed all that much since we placed our order for these parts a month ago.
- Full-Sized ATX For Enthusiasts: Bigger Can Be Better
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Encoding
- 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
- The Core i5-4670K And GeForce GTX 770 Make A Good Pair