CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K
Back when we placed our order with Newegg, Intel's Core i5-4670K was a price/performance champion for PC enthusiasts. But with the arrival of Core i5-4690K and its improved thermal interface, we'll probably give that CPU a shot next time around. Both processors share the same $240 price tag, so there's no financial penalty to pay. Availability is the only barrier to overcome; even now, the -4690K isn't in stock yet.
In any case, we know the Core i5, at any given clock rate, holds its own against the Core i7 family in lightly-threaded applications. Conversely, more parallelized workloads will favor the Hyper-Threading-equipped Core i7.
Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-4670K
We've messed with several Core i5-4670Ks, and most top out around 4.3 GHz across all four cores. I'm curious to see if this quarter's System Builder Marathon retail specimen is any different.
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Pro3
Read Customer Reviews of ASRock's Z97 Pro3
This is one of the lowest-priced motherboards available with Intel's overclocking-friendly Z97 Express PCH. You can find it with a $100 price tag on Newegg.
ASRock's Z87 Pro3 was good to us last quarter, so we look forward to gauging whether the updated Platform Controller Hub makes any appreciable difference today.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Plus
Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Plus is an excellent performer, and a $30 price tag makes it one of the best low-cost options for enthusiasts. Given a tight parts budget, I didn't see any other compelling competitors for less than $35, so Cooler Master's proven heat sink became an easy choice.
"Terrible" = same CPU, cooler, graphics card, and equal benchmark performance?
The case we chose really doesn't matter, as the first page of article points out. Case/optical drive is completely subjective. That's exactly why we've separated the performance parts price from case/optical/OS.
By the way, are you just assuming Apevia its bad because you prefer other well-known brands? It did a fantastic job for the purposes of this article, so other than brand, what's your issue with it? Is brand the same problem you have with the 290? Because it's cooler is quite good.
Speaking of coolers, the Hyper 212 EVO is virtually the 212 plus with a different fan. Is this really the huge difference you're implying it is?
You're also specing it out two months after we did, with lower prices. An SSD would have been great, but two months ago when we ordered there was no room in the budget, and we weren't willing to sacrifice the 290.
Bottom line, you're being a little sensationalist about picking nits.
The ssd gives you an easily felt sensation of speed every time you boot. Just got an ssd myself like 2 months ago. Any other go-fast parts come secondary. Ditch the Z97 and the ODD and you could squeeze in a SSD.
How is this the best suggested build for the money if you're only locking it to one retailer? That's...kinda silly
No one will ever question your parts selection ever again!! Maybe add a side note on price page that all parts are from/ must be bought on Newegg.
All newegg, still cheaper with better components:
What's the next rule, no rebates?
No mail-in rebates because they usually disappear before we can publish and, because when you have $100 you can't buy a $149 part that has a $50 MIR :)
Instant rebates and sales are fine because when the discount on one part disappears, the discount on another part appears.
BTW, I like the look of your case. I never understood what the deal was with don and ugly cases, but he's Canadian so I know better than to ask.
Even with that in mind, my second build without rebates totals 1178. Changing the motherboard to a z87 Extreme3 (because z97 isn't a benefit if you're not going for haswell refresh or an ssd) and it's 3 bucks more than the build listed.