System Builder Marathon: Mid-Cost System


System Builder Marathon, March 2008 : The Articles

Here’s a list of the System Builder Marathon (SBM) articles in this five day series.

Today, we double the budget of yesterday’s low-cost PC to assemble a sweet midrange system. While the low-cost PC is a good all-round system, the mid-range PC should perform strongly at pretty much anything we throw at it.

While twice the budget rarely results in twice the performance, a mid-range system is desirable because it can provide tangible benefits in speed of applications and high-resolution graphics. Also, the extra money spent should give us a highly overclockable system. Our low-cost system isn’t going to be anywhere near as overclockable as the mid-range system.

First, a quick overview of our chosen components, then a justification of our choices.

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Current SBM Mid-Range PC Component Cost
CPUIntel Core 2 Quad Q6700540
CPU CoolerCooler master HyperTX 225
MotherboardAsus P5N-T Deluxe250
RAMCrucial Ballistix DDR2 800 PC2-6400 - 4 GB128
GraphicsEVGA GeForce 8800GTX, 768 MB415
Hard Drive1x Western Digital Raptor 150 GB1701x Western Digital Caviar 500 GB95
SoundIntegrated SoundMax High-Definition Audio0
CaseAntec Nine Hundred120
PowerPC Power & Cooling Silencer S75Q 750W160
DVD-RW2x Sony Optiarc DVD-RW28
Total Price$1,931

(Compare Prices on Core 2 Quad Q6700)

  • crites
    Why wouldn't you put 1066MHz (PC2-8500) memory on this machine?
  • OS43
    I assume they are using Cas 4 memory, which you are not going to find in this price range at PC2-8500.
  • AngryClown
    This build is identical to my current rig, except I chose an 8800GT, and the Q6600 oc'd to 2.88. It plows through AVCHD editing, and Oblivion.

    I spent weeks researching the best price points. Good job guys.