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Value Conclusion

System Builder Marathon: TH's $2000 Hand-Picked Build
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A lower overclock that we couldn't overcome really hurt the new build in a few applications, while newer graphics cards helped it in others. Will value be decided based on a tiny 4% reduction in price?

Indeed, the new system wins both at stock speed and when overclocked. The configuration deserves a bigger value win, but the replacement Core i7-950 wasn’t nearly as O/C-friendly as the original. Though we intended to use this build to show the benefits of better RAM, several pages of test results make it clear that much of the credit for this win goes to AMD’s Radeon HD 6870 CrossFire configuration.

Now that we’ve had a chance to correct any mistakes of the past, it’s time to think about what changes we might want to make for our next build.

That’s tough to do when we’re 100% satisfied with the performance of every component, yet there was one noticeable inadequacy that didn’t hurt performance: the Graphite 600T case is flimsier than even Antec's Three Hundred used way back in June. But it’s 200 mm fans and hole-free side panels made this a cool and quiet PC. Until we find a higher-quality mid-priced case that offers similar acoustic and thermal performance, we have no problem recommending this entire build as-is.

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