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Motherboard, CPU, And CPU Cooler

System Builder Marathon: TH's $2000 Hand-Picked Build

We were so happy with the Intel Core i7-950, Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, and Prolimtech Megahalems Revision B of our original $2000 build that we decided to keep the whole set.

The CPU and motherboard represent the best values in the LGA 1366 overclocking market, while the overpriced CPU heat sink helped keep our previous system cool at 4.35 GHz and peak load.

Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte's X58A-UD3R

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i7-950

Read Customer Reviews of Prolimatech's Megahalems

Familiarity in overclocking and a third PCIe x16 graphics card slot that operates in x8 mode when occupied are two reasons why we chose the X58A-UD3R over the similarly-priced Asus Sabertooth X58.

CPU Cooling Fan: Cooler Master Blade Master R4-BMBS-20PK-R0

Combining a 3400 RPM fan with limited two-stage BIOS control, our original $2000 build went from noisy at idle to earsplitting at full load, until we added Gigabyte’s software controls to contain it. We wanted something cheaper with around 2400 RPM top speed, settling for Cooler Master’s 2000 RPM unit.

Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's Blade Master R4-BMBS-20PK-R0

Further testing would prove that 2000 RPM was still adequate, while the unit’s low $10 price makes it a top value in PWM-compatible units.

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