System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

CPU And Cooler

Processor : Intel Pentium E5200

Increasing the budget meant we could set our aim higher than we did with last month’s Pentium E2180. The $84 Pentium E5200 was chosen with high hopes for its potential overclocking headroom.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel’s Pentium E5200

It is a 2.5 GHz, dual-core, 45 nm Wolfdale with 2 MB L2 cache. But once again, our plans were not to keep it running at stock speeds for very long. Many readers may have wanted to squeeze the Core 2 Duo E7200 into this rig, but with quite a jump in price that’d push us further off budget, the E5200 with its higher multiplier was our processor of choice for this month’s value gaming rig.

CPU Cooler : Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

Read Customer Reviews of Arctic Cooling’s Freezer 7 Pro

This month, we strayed from our trusty Cooler Master Hyper TX2 and decided to use the extremely popular Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro to air cool our E5200. Both share a similar design with copper heatpipes and a 92 mm fan that directs air out toward the cases’ rear exhaust fan. The Freezer 7 Pro is just a bit larger and heavier, has a PWM controlled variable speed fan instead of a fixed fan speed, and has a slightly higher air flow at maximum RPMs. One advantage we gave up is how the Hyper TX2 has mounting hardware for cooling both an AMD and Intel system, while the Freezer 7 Pro is an Intel cooler and an AMD build would thus need to use the Freezer 64 Pro instead.

  • slomo4sho
    Very nice write up. I like the new price point :)
  • slomo4sho
    I forgot to mention that I still would like to see power consumption charts and possibly a AMD based build at this price point.
  • nerrawg
    Impressive results! Who says a system price has to adhere to budget figures of 500, 1500 and 4500 dollars, you guys really showed how much added value can be had when the right OC parts are purchased and assembled into a nice package. Well done!
  • cloudbase
    Hiya. Can you guys give a bit more detail about the 'further upgrades' you were inferring in the text of this article? So: Which P45 crossfire motherboard would have been nice; which RAM was out of stock; what would have been the benefiot of the more expensive CPU?

    Im looking to spend a similar amount, but as I already have the case, PSU etc it makes sense to explore those options.

    Presumably a 4870 would be better again?
  • radguy
    Thats a pretty awesome build thanks for the article. Although I am sorry but I have to ask. Do we have our real 4ghz dual core for $84 now?
  • jaragon13
    Sorry? What's with the comment box? I can't see what I'm typing.
    Anyways,my GTX 260 suffers on Crysis,so it's nothing new.
  • Pei-chen
    Great choice, let the AMD fan boys whiny; I would have picked the same setup if I am to build a cheap gaming PC.
  • matt2k
    Nice build for the money, though i personally would have sprung for a crossfire ready motherboard, the MSI P45 Neo2-FR for example.
    The only problem i have with this though is the operating system. surely that should be quite a major factor when creating a whole new system? and it would be nice to have the different vista's compared for gamers. i.e. is ultimate worth the bump in price for the extra's or is xp professional still the best option.
    just my thoughts.
  • zodiacfml
    Nicest article, not only you did not stick to any budget but also the parts chosen could not have been any better. This is a build i'm planning except i could have chosen a less performing 9800GT since its only in Crysis where a 4850 has a usable advantage over it.
    I am an AMD user for years but this pentium dual core overclocks so far over an athlon x2.
  • wh3resmycar
    someone from the forums was asking me months back where i can find a 4ghz e5200.. i guess this is it.