Graphics Card: PowerColor TurboDuo Radeon R9 290
Right now, the Radeon R9 290 is my favorite high-end graphics card at its price point. But that didn't protect me from the price changes that happened between when board was purchased and now. While PowerColor's TurboDuo sold for $380 back in May, it jumped up to $480 and now sells for $430 on Newegg. That's a temporary price, which includes a 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO. And this System Builder Marathon machine is sorely missing an SSD. But when the sale is overs, we're told this card will fall back to $400.
There are lower-priced Radeon R9 290s, of course. Even equipped with aftermarket cooling, you don't need to spend more than $410 for a good specimen.
We hope PowerColor's card can compete with the previous build's GeForce GTX 780 Ti. The GeForce comes equipped with a fully-enabled GK110 processor, making it one of the fastest single-GPU boards you can buy for gaming. But it also costs a lot more. PowerColor should take the crown for value.
Power Supply: Corsair CX750 750 W PSU
While a strong 650 W power supply would have been fine, Corsair's CX750 was on sale for $80 back in May, and I couldn't pass it up. The CX750 is now up in the $100 range, so if I had to pick again, I'd probably go for the company's CX600 to save some dough.
Case: Apevia X-Hermes
For $60, it's hard to find a PC enclosure that offers more than Apevia's X-Hermes. The enclosure comes with four 120 mm fans installed, in addition to a mammoth 200 mm cooler on the side window. Progressive styling and red LED accents don't hurt either, though more conservative enthusiasts may prefer something on the conservative side instead.
- Let's Get That Enthusiast PC Price Down A Notch
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Storage
- Building And Overclocking Our Mainstream Enthusiast System
- How We Tested Our Mainstream Enthusiast System
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Transcoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- A Core i5-4670K And Radeon R9 290 Offer Big Value