Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 replaces Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in our updated benchmark set, since its greater GPU dependence makes it a better indicator of current gaming needs.
The $2000 machine still gets astronomical frame rates when overclocked, at least when the game is limited to medium details and no AA.
The $500 build is still adequate at the highest details using this version of the benchmark. Perhaps a more elaborate test map should be considered.
That said, SSD is a great addition as well as some of the other difficult to measure in value parts.
These builds are targeted at a fixed budget, and (at the moment, with these budgets) money should never be spent on an SSD at the expense of more cpu or graphics power.
Dropping SSDs would also stop convoluting the "value" comparison.
The fact that problems were encountered during the builds, such as the issue with memory, and the issue with the bios; these are important practical lessons that make the articles well worth the time to read.
Overall, I can't imagine a better choice of builds, nor a better outcome, given Sandy Bridge on the horizon.
In any case, the $500 build rocks my boat. I just feel it isn't right to saddle the $1000 build with a dual core, hyper-threaded or not. An AMD triple/quad core with bad-@ss cooling (at the same price) might have been better.