Page 1:Mid-Range: Compromising, But Still Powerful
Page 2:Meet Our CPU, For The Last Time
Page 3:Motherboard, Cooler, And Memory
Page 4:Hard Drive and Case
Page 5:Power Supply, Optical Drive, and Video Cards
Page 6:Assembly & Overclocking
Page 7:Test System & Benchmarks
Page 8:Synthetic Benchmarks
Page 9:Application Benchmarks: Media Encoding
Page 10:Application Benchmarks: 2D And 3D Rendering
Page 11:Application Benchmarks: Productivity
Page 12:Game Benchmarks: First-Person Shooters
Page 13:Game Benchmarks: Real-Time Strategy
Power Supply, Optical Drive, and Video Cards
Power Supply : Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W
Corsair’s CMPSU-750TX is rated at 80%+ efficiency and has the desirable Active PFC feature that makes obsolete the old 110/220V switch we’re so used to seeing on the back of our power supplies.
The CMPSU-750TX is easily able to handle the needs of our quad-core CPU and dual video card configuration. At a relatively low cost of $110, Corsair’s offering is a good choice for our mid-range System Builder Marathon PC.
Optical Drive : Lite-On 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04
For under $25, Lite-On’s iHAS120-04 drive offers “AllWrite” capability. This is a fancy marketing term for the ability to write to any disc media—such as DVD+/- R(W), DVD- RAM and Double Layer discs—a flexibility that is appreciated.
Video Cards : 2x ASUS Radeon 4850 TOP in CrossFire
The choice of graphics cards for this build was one of the easier decisions : AMD’s new Radeon 4850 cards have made a real impression on the 3D landscape. We chose two of them in a CrossFire configuration to power our mid-range System Builder Marathon PC.
For the specific brand, we chose the Asus flavor : Radeon 4850 TOP cards, with a factory GPU overclock at 680 MHz (55 MHz over the reference Radeon 4850 specification). The Asus cards sport a large heatsink and fan for the graphics processor, which we will definitely appreciate if it provides a gain in cooling efficiency paired with quieter operation.
- Mid-Range: Compromising, But Still Powerful
- Meet Our CPU, For The Last Time
- Motherboard, Cooler, And Memory
- Hard Drive and Case
- Power Supply, Optical Drive, and Video Cards
- Assembly & Overclocking
- Test System & Benchmarks
- Synthetic Benchmarks
- Application Benchmarks: Media Encoding
- Application Benchmarks: 2D And 3D Rendering
- Application Benchmarks: Productivity
- Game Benchmarks: First-Person Shooters
- Game Benchmarks: Real-Time Strategy