System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Power Consumption

For SBM performance testing, power saving features such as CPU Enhanced Halt and CPU EIST Function were both disabled, and Windows Vista’s power option was set to High Performance. Let’s take a look at the total system power usage measured from the AC source.

We just started measuring power consumption last month and a communication snafu prevented a couple of these consumption measurements from being available for comparison. We can see that this month’s stock-clocked system consumes quite a bit more power than last month’s system and it even consumes more power at idle than last month’s overclocked system. The small overclock achieved with this month’s graphics card led to a much smaller increase in full GPU-load consumption compared to the increased power draw of the CPU clock speeds at full CPU load.

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  • Yeah Games are definatly more GPU bound than CPU bound at this time.But what about the user who decodes? Next month might be a good time to intro the new am3 triple core seeing as its being sodl for around 150$ and has been seen Oced up to 1ghz over stock.
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  • As I read this review I wonder, why this is only server I know that provides such a throughout testing and evaluation of OC benefit...
    *THUMBS UP*
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  • Nice article guys, like how you seem squeeze the value out of the builds, definitely a good choice of build! My only question is one of personal interest, I wonder if disregarding the set price of $625, a crossfire set up of 2 4830s would give more bang for the buck in gaming then 1 4870? Of course as you have shown it would depend on the cpu, I was thinking around 4 Ghz on a dual core and 4 gigs ram. I am wondering because 2 x 4830 can be had for as little as $170-180 now, and thats pretty awesome.
    -2
  • Looking at the "Radeon HD 4830: High-Speed, Cheap CrossFire" article the results look fairly similar to that seen from this build, with maybe some very small gains in Supreme commander and crysis, while World in Conflict appears to due better on this newer january build. However the 4830 CF was on a test bed without an OC'ed cpu and without overclocking the 4830's, hence my curiosity to know if doing this would significantly increase performance and value over the single 4870?
    -2
  • great article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?
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  • $43 difference bang for the buck. How about in the long run? Sure you'll be paying more than 43 bucks for the electricity bill. I think January's build is better. It might be slower than this month's build but is still very playable at most games.
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  • Why do you keep building the same system (practically) over and over again?

    It would have been awesome to see a system based on the Phenom II X3 "700 Series" at this price point....especially paired w/ the ATI 4830 or 4850. Dont'cha think a 4870 is a tad much for a "$625 system?" - you would have had a "Dragon Platform" - very doable at your price range. You wouldn't have had to do DDR3 either - DDR2 would have worked quite nicely.
    -2
  • StupidRabbitgreat article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?


    International competition is in edits--almost ready to go live! Interesting results there, too.
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  • Excellent article. I think this was a good build.
    That Rosewill case (and all their cheap ones like it) will take a front mounted 120mm fan. You had $6 left over, so it would have fit in your budget.
    1
  • THG Staff note:Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon...


    I hate being picky...but...

    The links aren't imbedded in those 4 article designations at the top of the article, as of the writing of this note.
    -4
  • My bad...this negative to me...*this* month lol

    Sorry
    -4
  • jcknouseI hate being picky...but...The links aren't imbedded in those 4 article designations at the top of the article, as of the writing of this note.


    Because they haven't been published yet ;-)
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  • I agree with some of the other posters. I would like to see the SBMs with the new Phenom II. Maybe even some of the new AM3 systems. From what I have read, it can be a little tricky to setup a new AM3 system with the correct processor, motherboard and memory configuration.
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  • Ahhh yet another "Intell System Builder Marathon" please call it what it is.
    -5
  • My present challenge is to come up with a $600 gaming build for a friend, AND the OS must be included in that price (so really a
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  • caamsaAhhh yet another "Intell System Builder Marathon" please call it what it is.


    Couldn't edit my comment; trying again...

    ...so really a sub-$500 build). I was going to go AMD, but discovered that an Intel 5200 is actually going to be cheaper, unless I give up a lot of performance. So, Caamsa, I expect the SBM articles will continue to use Intel chips at this price point.
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  • jtt283My present challenge is to come up with a $600 gaming build for a friend, AND the OS must be included in that price (so really a

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2060350368%204027&bop=And&Order=PRICE

    Just cut $100 off for the OS, or go with Ubuntu.
    -3
  • I still don't see how you can call it a 'System Build' without factoring in the OS! Just call it a $725 build and throw Vista on there, or specify that you're doing an open OS.
    -7
  • Nice Build. A few thoughts for anyone on a budget build:
    1. Don't buy a crappy case. A good case can be used over and over again. You'll upgrade the cpu, gpu, mobo, etc...but you can keep using a case. There's plenty of great $50 cases (Centurion CAC5, Antec 300, etc). Pony up another $25, and get a solid case.

    2. The same applies to the powersupply (Tom's picked a good one).
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  • Another very good SBM article. Shows what a builder has to do to reach a budget in real life pricing by going with a cheaper case, HSF, CPU to get a higher performance GPU to fit in a build. Good addition with the power consumption charts, i'd have no problem running a quality 430w PSU with this build. I'm interested in seeing an AMD build, perhaps they'll be available for the Feb/Mar SBM articles. Good job and thanks for this great writeup.
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