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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Graphics Card And Hard Drive

Graphics Card: PowerColor AX7850 1GBD5-DH

This affordable Radeon HD 7850 delivers amazing performance in a compact design that requires just one six-pin power connector. As we'd expect, AMD's Pitcairn GPU serves up 1024 ALUs running at 860 MHz, while 1 GB of GDDR5 memory operates at 1200 MHz.

PowerColor’s offering does go a little sparse on connectivity, including one dual-link DVI-I, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort output. And the company's bundle lacks a CrossFire bridge or power adapter. Instead, it comes with one DVI-to-VGA adapter, a driver disc, and a thin manual. But as one of the most affordable Radeon HD 7850s on Newegg, we found this card perfect for budget-minded system builders.

Read Customer Reviews of PowerColor's AX7850 1GBD5-DH

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320 GB

Western Digital’s 320 GB Caviar Blue drive spins at 7200 RPM and includes a SATA 6Gb/s interface. We also like its 16 MB data cache. For the price, a two-year warranty isn't shabby, either.

 

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320 GB

  • 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