System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Motherboard And Memory

Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L

To maximize our speed and performance, we again needed to choose an overclocking-friendly motherboard. The Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L served us well in the $500 system, but was out of stock.

Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte’s EP45-DS3L

With the increase in budget, we now had the opportunity to move on to a P45 motherboard such as the all-solid-state-capacitor GA-EP45-DS3L chosen for this build. We gave up on finding a CrossFire version, like the more expensive P45 models, but at $105 (or $89 after rebate), the EP45-DS3L is a nice starting block for a reliable, high-clocked budget system.

Memory : PNY XLR8 PC2-6400

Read Customer Reviews of PNY’s XLR8 4GB Memory Kit

We sought 4 GB of memory with tight timings for this month’s system, but as mentioned earlier, the most affordable high-performance 4 GB kit had gone out of stock and we almost had to settle for RAM with less aggressive specs. Fortunately, the XLR8 kit is rated at DDR800, 4-4-4-12 and 2.0 V. Adding to the value was an available $20 mail-in rebate offer.

  • 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.