System Builder Marathon: $1,300 Enthusiast System
System Builder Marathon, December 2009: The Articles
Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’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 check out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!
Folks expecting something extraordinary, like the AMD beast with four Radeon HD 4850s that was in our previous $1,250 system, might be disappointed at first. Our new $1,300 Intel system is fairly mainstream in comparison. But don't let that fool you because this machine packs a heck of a punch, which we'll see in the benchmarks.
First, let's look at the components:
|$1,300 Enthusiast System Components|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Chipset: Intel P55 Express||$170|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz 4 Cores, 8.0MB L3 Cache||$200|
|Memory||2 x A-Data 2.0GB DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Kit 2 x 2.0GB (4.0GB Total), CAS 8-8-8-24||$92|
|Graphics||2 x Radeon HD 5850 (CrossFireX) 1.0GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card Radeon HD 5870 GPU at 725 MHz||$620|
|Hard Drives||WD Caviar Black 640GB 640GB, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s||$75|
|Optical||Samsung SH-S2232C22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 16x DVD ROM, 48x CD ROM||$27|
|Power||Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V, EPS12V , 80-Plus Certified||$110|
|Total Current Cost||$1,354|
Although the previous AMD build featured four graphics cards instead of two, and we didn't have the budget for an aftermarket CPU cooler, we've still broken through our $1,300 target limit by $54--or $24 with $30 worth of mail-in rebates. This is not something we're proud of, but something we'll have to live with given the current climate of gradually-rising prices.