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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Motherboard And Memory

Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP

Based on Intel's H77 Express chipset, ASRock's H77 Pro4/MVP is designed to support third-gen Core processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture. It features official DDR3-1600 memory and PCI Express 3.0 support.

Some of the features more relevant to our configuration include all-solid capacitors, four DIMM slots, native SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports, a handful of USB 2.0 ports, and legacy PCI expansion slots. The board also supports Intel's Smart Connect and Rapid Start features, along with Lucidlogix's Virtu Universal MVP technology. Even AMD's CrossFire is supported, though you'd need to accept a less-than-optimal x16/x4 arrangement.

ASRock's Combo Cooler Option gives you the flexibility to mount LGA 775-, 1155-, and 1156-based coolers, too.

Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's H77 Pro4/MVP

Memory: 8 GB G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT DDR3-1333  Memory Kit

The Pentium G850's dual-channel memory controller limits us to 1333 MT/s data rates yet again. This time, however, we have the money left over to splurge on an 8 GB kit from G.Skill's Value Series.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT 8 GB Memory Kit

  • killerchickens
    $501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    killerchickens$501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.Run Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
    Reply
  • willyroc
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    CrashmanRun Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
    Linux for a gaming desktop I dont think so.
    Reply
  • willyroc
    Not to mention that the 500GB version of the HDD is only $3 more.
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    Our best alternative remained the quad-core Phenom II X4 995 Black Edition for $95. But we chose not to revisit this old favorite, figuring that adding a Radeon HD 7850 would have taxed our budget.
    What about the Phenom II 965? It's only $75 at TigerDirect.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Why is Windows 8 Professional being used?
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9539399 said:
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.

    I think they'd be better off with a B75 motherboard, 4GB RAM and an i3-3220.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    I am not very comfortable using windows8 in these benches. Reason : Drivers have not yet matured for win8. I would have waited for the next quarter SBM before using win8.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Windows is free and we use Linux in are gaming Machines what are we in Soviet Russia .
    Reply