System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

System Builder Marathon: $1000 Enthusiast System

System Builder Marathon, March 2011: The Articles

Here are links to each of the five articles in this month’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 Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
Day 5: Tom's Hand-Picked SuperCombo


When we spec'ed out this quarter's System Builder Marathon machines, the Intel Cougar Point chipset issue hadn’t yet reared its ugly head, and we ordered Intel's Core i5-2500K. Because of this this, we held off on publication until fixed Sandy Bridge platforms showed up at retail. While the specific ASRock motherboard we chose for this build hasn't yet reappeared, there are comparable options based on the same P67 Express chipset available with identical performance, and we expect this one will pop up shortly, too.

Let’s get straight to it! Here are the components as tested:

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$1000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset$152.99
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache$219.99
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus$29.99
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit$54.99
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950 2 GB GDDR5$274.99
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s$64.99
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST24x DVD Burner$18.99
CaseIn-Win Android$69.99
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified$89.99
Row 9 - Cell 0 Total Cost$976.91
  • americanherosandwich
    That is one funky looking case. Great $1k system!
  • toxxel
    That case is a behemoth.
  • dirtmountain
    After seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
  • cangelini
    dirtmountainAfter seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
  • Darkerson
    Crazy looking case, but nice system overall!
  • _Pez_
    for 1k usd seems to be a cheap system.. hmm nice review, is good to see that new processors are really efficient even when overclocked bad about the 22cm cooler of the side panel of that funny case. My Armor+ has exactly the same issue with a V6gt cooler and I decided to go back to my hyper212+ :D.
  • ava__
    you forgot to add the cost of your beloved Windows
  • Crashman
  • Mark Heath
    9511317 said:
    Good to see the Tom's team is on the same page XD
  • AkIRA_22
    that has to be the ugliest case I've ever seen in my life. At the end of the day the case is 100% taste, to 'recommend' a case is futile.