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System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $1000 Enthusiast PC

CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K

Intel's Sandy Bridge-based Core i5-2500K served as the brain of our mid-range enthusiast machine more times than I can count, and the Ivy Bridge-based Core i5-3570K is shaping up to be its replacement for right about $230.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-3570K (opens in new tab)

This is the first time we've had access to an Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 manufactured at 22 nm, and we expect that its strengths will play out well in our tests. Most important of all is an unlocked ratio multiplier, of course.

Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance

Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's Fatal1ty P67 Performance (opens in new tab)

Squeezing a Core i5-3570K, SSD, and 8 GB of overclockable memory into a $1000 budget is no easy task. So, we try to pick components offering the most performance potential at the lowest price.

ASRock's Fatal1ty P67 Performance motherboard offers us a decent reputation for aggressive overclocks and a very modest $100 price tag. on Newegg.

CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Loki SD963

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Loki SD963 (opens in new tab)

We’ve had good experiences with Xigmatek’s Loki in the past, and for $25, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to save some money for other parts given our strapped budget. Soon, we'll find out how this aftermarket cooler fares on an Ivy Bridge-based processor.