System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Graphics Card And Hard Drive

Graphics Card: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1 GB

It didn’t take long scouring Newegg’s graphics selection before a lone $170 Radeon HD 6850 jumped out as the card I wanted to use in this build. The reference-clocked Sapphire 100315L is a step above Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 768 MB used in December for (at the time) a relatively minimal increase in cost.

Read Customer Reviews of Sapphire's Radeon HD 6850 1 GB

You can get the full scoop on AMD's Radeon HD 6850 1 GB in our Barts launch review.

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ 320 GB

Read Customer Reviews of Samsung's Spinpoint F4 320 GB

We chose the same Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320 GB SATA drive as before for its 16 MB data cache, and its ability to serve up 320 GB of capacity at the lowest price on Newegg.

  • 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?