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

Motherboard And Memory

Motherboard: ASRock G41M-LE

The ASRock G41M-LE is based on the Intel G41 northbridge and ICH7 southbridge. It supports a full array of Socket 775 processors including FSB1333 dual- and quad-cores. Two DDR2 memory slots offer dual-channel support.

Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's G41M-LE

Integrated features include Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 with both DVD-D and D-Sub connections, 7.1-channel HD audio, and Gigabit LAN. There is also room for expansion with PCI Express (PCIe) x16, PCIe x1, and PCI slots. Overclocking options include memory strap by jumpers, voltage and multiplier adjustments in the BIOS, and the ability to enable a fixed speed PCIe and PCI bus. At $62, we do give up the solid capacitor design used on more expensive motherboards. 

Memory: G.Skill HK 4GB DDR2 800

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's HK 4 GB DDR2-800

Although the motherboard does support DDR2-1066, there was better value in saving $15 and buying the same G.Skill PC2-6400 again this month. It has 4-4-4-12 timings, is rated at 1.8-1.9 V, and is backed by a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. 

  • 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