System Builder Marathon: Day One

Component Table

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System Hardware
ProcessorAMD Athlon X2 3800+ AM2, 2.00 GHz, 1000 FSB, 1 MB Cache
MotherboardMSI K9N4 Ultra-F, BIOS: 1.6 (03/21/2007)
RAMWintec AMPO PC2-64001024 MB, CAS 5-5-5-16
Hard DriveSamsung HD160JJ - P80SD160 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA 300
NetworkingNVIDIA nForce onboard Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics CardsCard 1: XFX GeForce 7600 GTGPU: 580 MHzRAM: 256 MB 1500 MHz
Power SupplyAero Cool Zerodba 620W Crossfire/SLI ready
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform DriverAMD INF
Graphics Driver6.14.10.9371 - nVIDIA ForceWare 93.71

Test System & Benchmarks

We'll be doing a separate article about each of the PC's we're building: the low-cost PC, midrange PC, and high-end PC. In a fourth article that ties them all together, we'll be comparing benchmark results from the three systems.

For now however, let's have a quick look at our benchmark settings and the results we got from the low-cost PC.


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Benchmarks and Settings
F.E.A.RVersion: 1.0 RetailVideo Mode: 1024x768Computer: MaximumGraphics: Maximum-Custom-No SoftshadowsTest Path: Options/Performance/Test Settings
Doom 3Version: 1.3Video Mode: 1024x768Graphics: HighTest: Time Demo 1
OblivionVersion: 1.0 RetailVideo Mode: 1024x768Graphics: High, 4xAATest: Inside & Outside save files
Lame MP3Version 3.97 Beta 2 (12-22-2005)Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to mp3160 kbps
OGGVersion 1.1.2 (Intel P4 MOD)Version 1.1.2 (Intel AMD MOD)Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to oggQuality: 5
TMPEG 3.0 ExpressVersion: (no Audio)fist 5 Minutes DVD Terminator 2 SE (704x576) 16:9Multithreading by rendering
DivX 6.1Version: 6.1Profile: High Definition Profile1-pass, 3000 kbit/sEncoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreadingno Audio
XviD 1.1.0Version: 1.1.0 Beta 2Target qantizer: 1.00
Autodesk 3D Studio MaxVersion: 8.0Characters "Dragon_Charater_rig"rendering HTDV 1920x1080 & 1280x720
SPECviewperf 9Version: 9.0.3
PCMark05 ProVersion: 1.1.0System, CPU and Memory TestsWindows Media Player Media Encoder
3DMark05Version: 1.2System Test Only
SiSoftware Sandra 2005Version 2005.7.10.60CPU Test = Arithmetic, Multimedia BenchmarksMemory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • I built the May 8, 2007 $500 system and was well pleased with it. I went with 2 GB ram but the rest was from the article. In 2011, the video card died from ruptured capacitors. I really miss that card as it was impressive.
    Now, I am considering going with 4 GB ram and upgrading the power supply to support a 22 amp video card. Maybe a processor upgrade also.