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System Builder Marathon, March 2012: System Value Compared

Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3

Several sacrifices were made in order to get the $1300 build armed with a very high-end graphics card, all so it could hang with the $2600 PC in as many games as possible.

A bottom-end motherboard, a multiplier-locked processor, and a read-only DVD drive were all considered acceptable in this effort to give the big build a black eye. Did the compromises pay off?

Don's approach actually worked better than we might have expected, especially since the $1300 build’s graphics card overclocked better than mine.

The $650 build reaches its Battlefield 3 limit at 1920x1080, which is fine. Paul said from the outset that he'd be happy if his machine could provide playable performance at the highest native resolution most value-seekers are expected to use.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.