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Conclusion

SBM 3: High-End System
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We never intended to budget our system to include software and peripherals, yet today’s build came up thrifty enough to add some of the stuff you probably already own.

Current SBM High-End PC Component Cost
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 $1050
CPU Cooler Integrated Thermaltake LCS liquid cooler $0
Motherboard Asus Striker Extreme $300
RAM Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1000 PC2-6400 - 2 GB $110
Graphics 2x Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX - GV-NX88X768H-RH $1,000
Hard Drive 2x Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000YS $380
Sound Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS $180
Case Thermaltake Armor LCS $260
Power Ultra Products X3 1000W Modular Power Supply $250
DVD-RW Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology SH-203B $35
Auxiliary Fan Antec SpotCool Motherboard Cooling Fan $15
Floppy Drive Sony 1.44 MB Floppy Drive $10
Total Price $3,590

In an amazing coincidence, our current high-performance system cost exactly the same to build today as the former system did in its May debut. Today’s system is actually a little cheaper to build, as this time we included the cost of the floppy drive needed to load RAID drivers at Windows XP installation’s F6 prompt.

What would the former system cost if we were to buy its parts today ?

Previous SBM High-End PC Component Cost (Updated Prices)
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 $975
CPU Cooler Ultra ChillTec $130
Motherboard Asus Striker Extreme $300
RAM Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1000 PC2-8000 - 2 GB $140
Graphics 2x XFX GeForce 8800GTX PN : PVT80FSHF9 $1,060
Hard Drive 2x Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000YS $310
Sound Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS $180
Case LIAN LI PC-60A PLUSII $130
Power PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad $170
DVD-RW Sony NEC Optiarc 7170 SATA $35
Floppy Drive Sony 1.44 MB Floppy Drive $10
Total Price $3,440

The new build costs only 4.4% more than the former system, and we just know that the upgrades will pay off in multiples when we do our performance analysis. Let’s begin with games, where our "slower" reference-speed 8800GTX cards should have been "clearly outclassed" by the previous build’s factory-overclocked parts.

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