CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K
Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture already proved its per-clock superiority in a few of our articles, and it has the additional benefit of overclocking to higher clocks than any of its predecessors. The only question for us would be which model to choose.
Of course that’s not a real question, since only the K-series processors are unlocked, and we’ve seen a few reputable overclockers get dud -2500Ks. We wanted the extra security of a top-binned part and the potential (if marginal) multitasking improvement of Intel Hyper-Threading, so our only real option was the Core i7-2600K.
Graphics: 2x MSI R6970-2PM2D2GD5 in CrossFire
Continuing our cost-savings effort without scaling back performance, we picked the cheapest pair of Radeon HD 6970s we could get our hands on. MSI was equaled only by HIS in price on the day we purchased our cards and, even though we don’t count temporary rebates in our cost analysis, we couldn’t help but notice that MSI’s rebate was bigger.
A pair of Radeon HD 6950s beats a pair of GeForce GTX 570s at our 2560x1600 target resolution, and the HD 6970 is even faster. Without enough money to even try a pair of GeForce GTX 580s, these are the best cards for our budget.
- A True Enthusiast Build?
- Motherboard And Case
- CPU Cooler And Optical Drive
- CPU And Graphics
- System Storage And Memory
- Secondary Storage And Power
- Hardware Installation
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra 2011
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And F1 2010
- Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2 And Metro 2033
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Value Conclusion