Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V
Gigabyte's microATX H61MA-D3V separates itself from less expensive H61 Express-based boards with features like a 16-lane PCI Express slot capable of accommodating an Ivy Bridge processor and running at third-gen data rates, two USB 3.0 connectors, two SATA 6Gb/s ports enabled by a Marvell add-in controller, an all-solid capacitor design, and Gigabyte’s UEFI DualBIOS technology. Available with a $10 savings this month, I couldn't see spending any less on the system’s platform.
Memory: 4 GB Pareema DDR3-1333 MD313C80809L2
The Celeron G530’s memory controller limits data rates to 1066 MT/s, so we looked to spend as little as possible on system RAM. Compatible 4 GB kits started at $20. And while the one we chose may not be well-known, it is earning high-enough ratings from Newegg's customers that we felt comfortable giving it a shot. We’ll be underclocking this RAM, hoping for lower latencies.
- Paying The Price For Ambition
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget Box And Limited Overclocking
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elders Scroll V: Skyrim And StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary And Efficiency
- Did Our Gamble Pay Off?