Crowning A Value PC Winner
With nearly one-third the performance of its fastest rival, we expect a great value score for the $500 machine. But how will the $1000 PC stand up, given the handicap applied to its hard drive score?
As usual, the $500 overclocked machine takes a significant win in overall value.
Meanwhile, the overclocked $1000 build finishes only slightly behind the $500 machine’s stock configuration. The $2000 build is an awesome performer, but its performance-per-dollar is atrocious. Or is it?
A minimum amount of performance is required to accomplish some tasks or satisfy certain customers, and the easiest place to see that is in 2560x1600 gaming. The $500 machine wasn’t even tested here, though the second-place $1000 build was. Gone are the $1000 machine’s gimped hard drive scores. And yet, we still find one place where the $2000 PC can justify its expense.
If there is just one word to focus on throughout this comparison, it might be "adequacy."
While the $2000 machine reigns supreme in performance, its cost is beyond the means of most builders. And while the $500 machine easily takes a value lead, most enthusiasts would find its performance to be completely lacking. The one machine that is adequate in most games and settings, nearly a match for the $2000 build in application performance, and affordable to most enthusiasts is Don Woligroski's $1000 PC. Perhaps that's why Don gets the right to use the word "Enthusiast" in its title. After all, nobody buys something labeled "The $1000 Adequate PC."
Oh: Wait …
Also, as a result, more emphasis should be placed on the storage sub system. I know these are gaming configurations, but I'd give up my GPU in a nanosecond if it meant I could keep my SSDs. Fortunately, I don't have to choose, but I would if I had too, and I'm not alone out there. Budget systems don't feel so budget-y with even a modest SSD.
Yeah, good luck fitting an SSD into a $500 gaming build.
there have been 64GB Vertex Crucial drives on sale for < 79$. Which isn't bad.
That's why I think the $500 system should be closer to $600, maybe like $550. 30GB Agility drives were going for $40 yesterday at the Egg, so its not like you have to spend $300 to get a tangible benefit. That one addition would have contributed a significant performance benefit and the budget category used to be $650 anyway.
maybe also include windows boot time.