Page 1:Changing Focus For A Look At Processor Performance
Page 2:CPU, Motherboard And Cooler
Page 3:Graphics Card, Power Supply And Case
Page 4:Memory, Hard Drives And Optical Storage
Page 5:Building And Overclocking
Page 6:How We Tested
Page 7:Results: Synthetics
Page 8:Results: Media Transcoding
Page 9:Results: Rendering And Productivity
Page 10:Results: Adobe Creative Cloud
Page 11:Results: Compression Tools
Page 12:Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3
Page 13:Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
Page 14:Power And Temperature
Page 15:Q3 2014 Mainstream Enthusiast PC Under $1300 Verdict
Graphics Card, Power Supply And Case
Graphics Card: Zotac AMP! Superclocked GeForce GTX 770
The GeForce GTX 970 launched last week wasn't available (or even public information) back when we ordered the pieces for this build. So, I needed something cheaper than the Radeon R9 290 that wouldn't sacrifice gaming performance. Under $300, the best option was Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770.
I went with Zotac's factory-overclocked model due to its low price, respectable clock rates rated for 1150 base and a typical 1202 MHz GPU Boost frequency, plus 1800 MHz memory, and the hope for additional headroom.
Selling for $280, Zotac's card serves up impressive frame rates at its price, even though GK104 gets humbled by the GeForce GTX 970 overshadowing it today. Still, Nvidia's Kepler architecture remains quite capable, and I expect this implementation to power through our benchmark suite. At least until I start running the three-screen resolutions, that is.
Power Supply: In Win GreenMe 650 W
In Win combines solid power delivery with attractive value, enabled by manufacturing its own products. I've seen recommendations to try the GreenMe 650 W and, given the need to fit more output into my budget this quarter, I decided to try my luck with a $60 supply.
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM
Cooler Master's HAF series is synonymous with airflow, making it an ideal choice for my overclocking-oriented build. I've worked previously with the excellent HAF X. But that monstrous case costs almost $200 and I needed something more budget-friendly.
With that in mind, I decided to give the smaller HAF XM a try to see what compromises are made in shrinking this lauded line-up down to the $120 range.
- Changing Focus For A Look At Processor Performance
- CPU, Motherboard And Cooler
- Graphics Card, Power Supply And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives And Optical Storage
- Building And Overclocking
- How We Tested
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Transcoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Cloud
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- Q3 2014 Mainstream Enthusiast PC Under $1300 Verdict