System Builder Marathon, May 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!
- Day 1: The $2,500 Performance PC
- Day 2: The $1,300 Enthusiast PC
- Day 3: The $600 Gaming PC
- Day 4: Performance and Value Dissected
The SBM contest is live! Enter to win one of our three systems right here.
In coming up with components for this month’s $1,300 enthusiast Micro-ATX system, we had a hard time deciding on which platform to choose, as the Core 2 Duo, Phenom II, and Core i7 CPUs were all viable choices and brought their own strengths and weaknesses to the table.
We asked our forum users for their opinions and got a lot of constructive dialogue in return. The consensus was that while AMD's Phenom II was very compelling and had a lot of support, the $1,300 price bracket allowed us to stretch our legs into Core i7 territory.
With the CPU decided upon, everything else started falling into place. Here’s our component list:
|$1,300 Enthusiast Micro-ATX PC Parts Prices|
|Motherboard||DFI LANParty Jr X58-T3H6 Micro-ATX Intel X58/ICH10R, LGA1366||$220|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-920 Four Cores, 2.66 GHz, 8 MB Cache||$289|
|Memory||G.Skill 10666CL7T 6GBPKTriple-channel memory kit 3 x 2 GB||$90|
|Graphics||2 x BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC in SLI 896 MB GDDR3-1998 Per Card 590 MHz GPU, 1,296 MHz Shader||$340|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar Black 640GD, 640 GB, 32 MB cache||$75|
|Optical||Lite-On iHAS422 DVD±R DVD Burner SATA||$28|
|Case||SilverStone TJ08-B Micro-ATX Mini-Tower||$99|
|Power||PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750 Quad S75QB, ATX12V 2.2, 80-Plus Certified||$120|
|CPU Cooler||Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283||$40|
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It looks like you guys have a fetish for silverstone sff cases, and small motherboards. You guys probably like other small things...Reply
Was the peak power draw measured from the wall? If so, do you know the efficiency of the PSU to determine the approximate power draw from the components at a given level of output? Overall, great article. I hope my 650Watt PSU with 3 X 19A 12V rails can handle another GTX 260 Core 216.Reply
if you wanted to go SFF it would be nice to see one done in an LIAN-LI PC-A05NB. at least you still get the full atx boards in those.Reply
This system is no slouch and cuts through our new gaming benchmarks like a hot knife through butter.I wonder how exactly does the selection of components go. I mean it seems that there's some attention given to the forums to be politically correct, but that's kind of it. For $1300 a Phenom 2 + micro AM3 board + 2x4890 in crossfire is a much better solution so .. why not choose the better option?
That system looks quite crowded on the inside, and that Dark Knight is big for a regular sized system, I'm actually kind of impressed you managed to fit it in a Micro ATX at all. I suppose as long as it runs stable, theres really no problem. Still think the articles should be titled "Micro System Build-off" just to let people know off the bat what they're about to read.Reply
No space at all between those 2 cards. poor cards have no choice but to overheat.Reply
SpadeMI wonder how exactly does the selection of components go. I mean it seems that there's some attention given to the forums to be politically correct, but that's kind of it. For $1300 a Phenom 2 + micro AM3 board + 2x4890 in crossfire is a much better solution so .. why not choose the better option?Reply
I'm tired of seeing I7 920 in every damn "recommended" PC. I'm not saying go AMD but please just try to vary them a bit it's getting stupid. Also try building your own benchmarks or at least change them once in a while.Reply
Btw i\m getting tired of people picking up I7 and saying "because i do heavy CPU tasks" (not necessarily IzzyCraft ) and in fact all they need is a browser,OpenOffice and WoW minimized in the taskbar.
The article is well done no doubts but try using other brands also. It\s starting to sound biased.
This article would be great if you could do : what you can buy for 1300 Intel parts and what you can by for 1300 AMD parts ... and put the 2 PCs to compeat to eachother :P it would be a more interesting article than just buy a pc and ... show what ?Reply
Nice slick system this - looks like 2 x 260's is pretty good value at 1920 x 1200 for those that want to max out the settings in the most demanding games. Was wondering however if there is a good technical explanation for the power consumption results because they seem pretty strange?Reply