Skip to main content

System Builder Marathon, May '09: $600 Gaming PC

Conclusion

While our little E5200 far exceeded expectations this month, there is little room for doubt about the greater potential for overclocking that a larger system offers, such as those used in past SBMs. Building a more portable shoe-box gaming machine with a Micro-ATX motherboard did limit the cooler selections, but otherwise the Sugo SG01-F proved to be more capable than expected at keeping the components cool.

Of course, as ambient room temperatures rise, the clock speeds and voltages used would need to be adjusted accordingly. As always, remember that the degree of overclocking will vary, and other folks may find substantially different results, even if purchasing the same exact hardware.

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

Performance was excellent, and while the system fans prevented this from being considered a quiet everyday machine, noise levels were at least acceptable for a gaming box. The amount of real estate this machine takes up on a desk is not much different than an ATX system such as this Antec Three Hundred-based rig, but the overall size and weight are definitely less. The shape doesn’t make it easy to carry with one arm, so those serious about carting such a system around may want to consider picking up a Sugo Pack.

The ASRock G41M-LE was a little gem measured in value, overclocking abilities, and making other component options possible within our budget. Compared to the last SBM, we have a much higher-quality enclosure, a modular power supply, and a more powerful graphics card, all for about the same cost if factoring in the additional CPU cooler. All in all, for $600 this little machine is quite the bargain and one this editor would be proud to own. 

  • doomtomb
    You still manage to fit this PC with a GTX series at such a low price point. Props for that.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Yeah while you generally can find a 4890 10 dollars cheaper then a GTX275 the reverse is true when it comes to a 4870 and GTX260.

    Interesting i would have thought you would have went with a kuma due to limited oc ability in a cramped "gaming box", although you did make the oc worth while.

    I understand the rest of the build; though the case looks more like a media box then a gaming box those cramped boxes amaze and worry me as even my htpc is very well cooled and silent due to being very low heat as in not a oced cpu and a power hungry gpu.
    Reply
  • IronRyan21
    Im sad, I was hoping for at least one AMD cpu in the May SBM series. :(
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    62 dollar mobo hard to argue with that cpu+mobo coming out to be 62+70=$132 and, getting that much oc off the stock cooler.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    What a shame.
    Reply
  • cinergy
    IronRyan21Im sad, I was hoping for at least one AMD cpu in the May SBM series.
    Green eyed Tom gives no mercy for DAAMIT.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Wow, no love for a solid build. Nicely done, Paul.
    Reply
  • erdinger
    dissapointed also just needed to see an Amd system.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    It is a lovely build, but the all around performance would be better with a Phenom2 x3 720, something that was achievable at the typical $625- $650 budget build price tag. If you look at the last 4 budget builds you get a E5200, E5300, E7300 and now yet another E5200. Give us a break, is the next one going to feature the E6300, then another E5200? As for the enthusiast, we get an i7, then a core2 duo, then a core2 quad, now another i7. Is it all around performance? or gaming performance? or just Intel performance? How can any reader know how the AMDs will stand up in these marathons if they never get the chance? With the new quarterly offering of the SBM it will be 3 months before another series comes out, just in time to see yet another i7, i5 and the E6300 builds. It's not as if the people waiting and wanting to see an AMD build are any surprise to Toms SBM or that they're disappointed to see AMD excluded once again. I'm disappointed myself even though Pauls build is a really nice one.
    Reply
  • sandoness
    Gah.. wouldn't it be smart to get a more powerful cpu?

    even with the overclocking power of this one?

    I was originally gonna get a q9550 !?

    :/

    Reply