System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Test System Configuration and Benchmarks

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ComponentBase SettingsOverclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium E5200, 2.50 GHz, FSB-800, 2 MB Cache4.0 GHz (12x 334 MHz), FSB-1336, 1.44V Core
CPU CoolerArctic Cooling Freezer 7 ProArctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 100% duty cycle
MotherboardGigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L, Intel P45, BIOS F10 (11/10/2008)Unchanged
RAM4.0 GB PNY XLR8 PC2 6400, 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 4-4-4-12 2T at 1.80 VUnchanged
GraphicsSapphire 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512 MB, 625 MHz GPU, 1,986 MHz Memory Data Rate700 MHz GPU, 2,340 MHz Memory
Hard DrivesSeagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS, 500 GB, 72000 RPM, 32 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated 8-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec NeoPower 650 WUnchanged
OpticalLITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04Unchanged
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Operating SystemWindows Vista Ultimate 32-bit, SP1Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 8.11Unchanged
Onboard Device DriversIntel
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CrysisVersion : 1.2.1, Video Quality : Very High Details, Demo : CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Supreme CommanderForged AllianceVersion : 1.5.3599, Video Quality : Highest Settings, Demo : WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark : Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Unreal Tournament 3Version : 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details : 5, Level Details : 5, Demo : vCTF-Reflection_bot, Time : 12/60
World in ConflictVersion :, Video Quality : Very High details, Demo : Game-Benchmark
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iTunesVersion :, Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version : 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD ""Terminator II SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160kb/s
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TMPEG 4.5Version :, Import File : Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution : 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.3Encoding mode : Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.1.3Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio : MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbp/s), Mode : PAL (25 FPS), Profile : Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
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Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9Version : 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3Version : 10.0x20070321, Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-Photo, Benchmark : Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4, Filters : Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e, Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version : 8.0.134, Virus base : 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark : Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
Winrar 3.80Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark : THG-Workload (334 MB)
Winzip 11Version 11.2, Compression = Best, Benchmark : THG-Workload (139 MB)
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3DMark VantageVersion : 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion : 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • 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.