System Builder Marathon Q3 2015
Here are links to each of the five articles in this quarter’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out this SurveyGizmo form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!
What does the word “Performance” mean to a hardware enthusiast? Some of us really do run engineering, animation or high-end video editing software at home. Others just play games, but many users do both. And to top that off, there are quite a few gamers out there that just don’t know hardware. That’s why it’s always a little annoying when someone looks at a general-performance build, calls it a gaming machine, and asks why we didn’t sacrifice the CPU for a better GPU. Placing “Prosumer” in this month’s title should clear up that confusion, though that workstation-approximate term loses some of its meaning when a more-expensive system is designed with the best of both markets in mind.
Satisfying both markets isn’t a problem for builders with only $700 to spend on hardware. That budget only enables this month’s builds to serve either as a low-end workstation or mainstream gaming machine. Yet knowing that last statement to be realistic hasn’t prevented me from at least trying to put a little gaming power into this month’s general-purpose PC.
- Platform Cost: $656
- Total Hardware Cost: $700
- Complete System Price: $800
My apologies to the pros who just spilled their coffee, but I had to cut $40 out of the DRAM budget just to build basic gaming capability into this machine. Games do make up an important part of our overall benchmark set. And if I’m being this forthcoming, I’d might as well confess to the fact that I’ve put used cases into my own budget builds in order to avoid purchasing anything made this cheaply.
In other words, the screwball choices in this build are all geared towards winning the value title. Will it work?