System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

System Builder Marathon, March 2011: The Articles

Here are links to each of the five articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
Day 5: Tom's Hand-Picked SuperCombo

Introduction

When we spec'ed out this quarter's System Builder Marathon machines, the Intel Cougar Point chipset issue hadn’t yet reared its ugly head, and we ordered Intel's Core i5-2500K. Because of this this, we held off on publication until fixed Sandy Bridge platforms showed up at retail. While the specific ASRock motherboard we chose for this build hasn't yet reappeared, there are comparable options based on the same P67 Express chipset available with identical performance, and we expect this one will pop up shortly, too.

Let’s get straight to it! Here are the components as tested:

$1000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset
$152.99
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache
$219.99
CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
$29.99
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit
$54.99
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950
2 GB GDDR5
$274.99
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB
1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s
$64.99
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST
24x DVD Burner
$18.99
CaseIn-Win Android
$69.99
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
$89.99
 Total Cost$976.91
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112 comments
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  • americanherosandwich
    That is one funky looking case. Great $1k system!
    2
  • toxxel
    That case is a behemoth.
    2
  • dirtmountain
    After seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
    8
  • cangelini
    dirtmountainAfter seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.


    LOL
    3
  • Darkerson
    Crazy looking case, but nice system overall!
    0
  • _Pez_
    for 1k usd seems to be a cheap system.. hmm nice review, is good to see that new processors are really efficient even when overclocked ..to bad about the 22cm cooler of the side panel of that funny case. My Armor+ has exactly the same issue with a V6gt cooler and I decided to go back to my hyper212+ :D.
    3
  • ava__
    you forgot to add the cost of your beloved Windows
    -5
  • Crashman
    cangeliniLOL
    Huh?
    0
  • Mark Heath
    8708 said:
    Huh?

    Good to see the Tom's team is on the same page XD
    3
  • AkIRA_22
    that has to be the ugliest case I've ever seen in my life. At the end of the day the case is 100% taste, to 'recommend' a case is futile.
    2
  • skora
    Just for testing purposes, could that 220mm fan have been mounted on the outside of the case, to see if its worth buying a slimmer fan with that extra $24 in the budget?
    4
  • gti88
    Strange results in games. 460 1gb SLI is equal to gtx580 in Crysis, but in this article two 460gtx show the same performance as 6950...
    0
  • Luay
    Amazing value. This machine can do rip trough anything @ 1920x1200. I like how you're keeping your eyes open on mobos yet to appear;
    Asrok P67 Extreme4, MSI P67 GD45, Intel Boxdp67bg, Asus P67Pro, Gigabyte P67UD4: Cheapest SLI/CF x8 w/3slot-for-each-card-boards out there. Only one can be the best. My bet is on Intel.

    6950 all the way and nothing less, not even to fit in a SSD.

    For $10 more, I would pick the Inwin Dragon Slayer for bigger size, 4 fans, meshed covers (Princess Leia's daddy).

    Another $10 for the Corsair TX650 Version 2.0, but that was just released 3 weeks ago.
    1
  • iam2thecrowe
    i think i said this in the last build....modular PSU please, especially since you had a bit of money you had left over. OCZ do some good ones.
    0
  • eddieroolz
    I saw the case, and it made me instantly awaken. Not quite sure how to explain it - though it does come down to personal taste anyway.

    As for some of the gaming benchmarks, it's really a mixed bag. Sandy Bridge/6950 rules at 1080p & lower but anything higher seems to be in the domain of the dual Nvidia cards. Though the Core i3 was a really extreme compromise.

    Now waiting for the AMD build to show up!
    1
  • JohnMD1022
    UGGGGGHHHHH-ly casr
    -3
  • pelov
    eddieroolzI saw the case, and it made me instantly awaken. Not quite sure how to explain it - though it does come down to personal taste anyway.As for some of the gaming benchmarks, it's really a mixed bag. Sandy Bridge/6950 rules at 1080p & lower but anything higher seems to be in the domain of the dual Nvidia cards. Though the Core i3 was a really extreme compromise. Now waiting for the AMD build to show up!


    That has to do with the way certain games are programmed and made to prefer certain architecture over another. it's not exactly the fault of the video cards.
    0
  • JohnMD1022
    I have to learn to spell 'case'... lol

    Seagate drive? No way... pure junk.
    -2
  • dalta centauri
    JohnMD1022I have to learn to spell 'case'... lolSeagate drive? No way... pure junk.

    Nothing wrong with a seagate drive...as an external HDD. Never used one as an internal though.
    The case itself looks real good, and hopefully efficient at cooling. Although I must say, it looks like a 'gaming' case that was first built around early 2000. I personally like it though, it looks quite unique.
    -1
  • luis1
    Just pulled the trigger on this system.. trumps your 1K system..
    For 820.00 shipped..

    http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Special-B/w/62031
    -5