Page 1:How Low Can You Go?
Page 2:CPU and Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Cards And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 10:Benchmark Results: Audio/Video
Page 11:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis
Page 13:Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat
Page 14:Maximizing Graphics Potential
Page 15:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 16:Performance Summary And Efficiency
Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: ASRock M3A770D
We needed an inexpensive motherboard with some degree of overclocking potential. Of course, it couldn't sacrifice stability or the potential of unlocking our Athlon II chip. ASRock's M3A770DE, based on the AMD 770/SB710 chipset, was just the ticket. With CrossFire (limited to x16/x4) and Phenom II X6 support, plus a pair of powered eSATA/USB connectors, the $60 price tag looks even sweeter.
Notice that ASRock uses solid capacitors in key areas of the voltage regulator circuit to improve lifespan and reliability, but not throughout the board, as we have come to appreciate on more expensive models from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI.
Memory: Crucial CTKIT12864BA1339
Two gigabytes system memory seems like an obvious choice for our $400 build, so we opted for the same affordable dual-channel Crucial kit we've used in the past.
Although it lacks heat spreaders, and is rated at CL9 and 1.5 V, Crucial DDR3-1333 modules with D9KPT ICs has demonstrated impressive overclocking capabilities in past memory roundups.
- How Low Can You Go?
- CPU and Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Cards And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Audio/Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat
- Maximizing Graphics Potential
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary And Efficiency