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Value Conclusion

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: A $2400 PC That Costs $2700

If you were wondering why all of my charts listed “original price” under the current build, that’s because I decided to break down performance-per-dollar twice: first using the prices we paid when we bought the components, and then with the current jacked-up prices. I’m absolutely certain that the original $2400 price of this machine smashes the value of last quarter's $2550 juggernaut. But would the same hold with R9 290s selling for more than $500 and the memory significantly more expensive as well?

With around 95% the price and 105% the performance, this quarter's machine originally set me up for a 10% value lead at its stock settings. The $300 price spike pushes its value rating to 1% below what I achieved three months ago. But my current effort also overclocks better. Consequently, I see a 30% value lead at November prices that drops to a 17% advantage using the figures we'd pay today.

If these were pure gaming machines, we wouldn’t need six-core CPUs. On the other hand, it is nice to see how much better the new system ranks at 5760x1080. AMD’s Radeon R9 290 really is a fast card, and two are even better. It’s a shame that a digital gold rush is taking these out of the hands of so many gamers.

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