System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

CPU And Cooler

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 925

The quad-core AMD Phenom II X4 925 has four 512 KB L2 repositories and a heaping 6 MB of shared L3 cache. This 45 nm Deneb-based processor runs at 2.8 GHz and has a 95 W thermal design limit. Our C3 stepping HDX925WFGMBOX has since been deactivated, but the older C2 revision is now back in stock.

Read Customer Reviews of AMD's Phenom II X4 925

CPU Cooler: AMD Retail Boxed Heatsink & Fan

Unfortunately, this boxed cooler uses a small, all-aluminum heatsink, and not the copper heatpipe-based design bundled with the more expensive 125 W Black Edition chips.

The thin 70 mm x 70 mm x15 mm PWM fan is fairly quiet at idle, but easily audible as it approaches its 3000+ RPM maximum speed.

  • tacoslave
    i think orange looks spiffy
  • abswindows7
    worst case in the world.
  • LuckyDucky7
    "I’ll certainly entertain the possibility of Intel’s newly-available Core i3-2100 for the next SBM."

    Have fun overclocking that rig!

    I'd choose my O/C'd i3-530 @ 3.75 GHz (stock, air-cooled) over any of the new Sandy Bridge offerings any day.
    The 2100 just cannot compete with that- it's marginally better than a first-gen i3, and it cannot be pushed harder.

    *Hopes Bulldozer will be ready by that time*
  • wolfram23
    Pretty darn good for $500!
  • Judguh
    Good Build!
  • hmp_goose
    Need the optical drive?
  • haplo602
    now finaly a low SBM build I like.

    ++ on the PSU (finaly not a 500W+ waste)
    + on the case (looks decent)
  • lunyone
    Pretty good build for the $. I would've gone with the Athlon x4 or x3 to keep things under budget, but that is just me. There are plenty of GPU options in the ~$170 price range. I think you might've got one of "those" GPU's that you read about. This is why "expecting" OC'ing abilities with whatever part you buy, shouldn't be taken for granted. Buy what you can afford and if you get a good OC on your parts, feel blessed:)
  • lunyone
    I would've taken the savings on the CPU and bought better RAM or maybe even a different case, but that is just nit picking a bit :)
  • one-shot
    Would someone please explain the point of comparing the old SBM to the new one if there isn't a list of the parts from the SBM done in the past? These have always been annoying when the reader is forced to look back to December for a detailed list of parts. This has been practiced for years here. It makes no sense comparing to something the reader has no idea as to the parts being used in the past. Seriously....

    Edit: Why Did I get a Minus one the second after my post was submitted?