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Gamers: You're Going To Love This One!

System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $2000 Performance PC

The $2600 PC we built last quarter had an actual cost of over $2500, while we're using less than $1800 of this quarter's $2000 budget.

We've already seen that the average performance difference is far less than the price difference, with the new PC actually leading in game performance. That makes this story pretty easy, then. We simply have to put a number on the value advantage that we’ve already predicted.

Comparing one stock config to the other, or one overclock to the other, we see that the new build has approximately 50% more performance per dollar spent. That could have an enormous effect on the outcome of our Day 4 multi-budget value comparison, making this the first time our high-end builder looks forward to comparing his value to that of less-expensive machines.

We also mentioned that the new machine leads last quarter's build in gaming, but have to add that high-resolution gaming is the only place where a $540 graphics card makes sense. How well does the new build compete there?

While the new system’s average gaming performance was only marginally higher, its GeForce GTX 680 makes a bloody mess of the former build’s Radeon HD 7970 when we narrow our focus to our highest test resolution. And the whole machine's lower price welcomes us to the neighborhood of double-the-value in gaming.

That’s a nice place to be for gamers, but we would hate to disenfranchise other high-end users. And so, we’re listening to your voice: should we keep the gaming focus or move back towards higher-cost do-it-all machines?

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