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System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Don's $1000 Machine Is Here To Play

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: The Articles

Here are links to each of the five articles in this quarter’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this SurveyGizmo form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 2: The $1000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $2000 Performance PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
Day 5: The Surprise $2000 Alternative Build


Now that the Core i5-2400 experiment we conducted last quarter is over, we're anxious to get another processor with an unlocked multiplier back under the hood. Specifically, we want to give Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture a shot in the mid-range $1000 bracket. On top of that, graphics card prices are pretty reasonable in the high-end space, thanks to the $400 GeForce GTX 670.

With so many low-price, high-performance combinations of CPUs and GPUs at our disposal, there's a high probability that this quarter's $1000 dollar configuration is going to smoke my last effort. Just take a look at the parts that I picked:

$1000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance LGA 1155, Intel P67 Express PCH$100
ProcessorIntel Core i5-3570K3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz Max Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache$230
Heat SinkXigmatek Loki SD963 92 mm CPU Cooler$25
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Blackline 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit$55
GraphicsGigabyte GeForce GTX 670 GV-N670OC-2GD  2 GB GDDR5$400
SSDOCZ Agility 3 60 GB 60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s$60
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 6Gb/s$60
OpticalSamsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22x OEMDVD Burner$17
CaseRosewill Redbone$40
PowerCorsair CX600 V2 600 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified$70
Total Cost$1057

Yes, we exceed our budget by $57. Thank the SSD and 8 GB memory kit for that. However, your feedback has made it clear that these items aren't optional in the $1000 price bracket. We’re happy to oblige, even if it takes us a little over our limit.