Motherboard And Memory
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
We didn’t pick this AMD 790GX/SB750 socket AM3 motherboard because of its Radeon HD 3300 graphics core, but rather because it included other features we sought at a price we could afford.
Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte's MA790GPT-UD3H
It has all-solid capacitors, Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 Classic Copper PCB, a 4+1 phase-power design, and ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration). Even more important to our build is the pair of PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 x16 slots that support a single x16 lane or two x8 links for CrossFire.
Our instant $20 discount has been cut in half, but the $15 mail-in rebate still remains in effect. A solid alternative for this system would be the AMD 790X/SB750-based MA790XT-UD4P, which loses the integrated graphics, but adds an 8+2 phase-power design and a larger array of rear-panel ports.
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800L9D-4GBRL
Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's F3-12800L9D-4GBRL
We were pleased to see that the speedy G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-12800 was one of the cheapest 4GB DDR3 kits available. This dual-channel kit uses comb-like heat spreaders and is rated at DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24 timings at 1.5V.
unlocking the forth core and still overclocking to 3.6Ghz is just great! I'm getting jealous because my 4th core is broken.
I'm looking forward to the value comparison.
4 cores, 3.2Ghz, 13,000 3dmark points.
Great bang-for-buck system.
Would it be possible to make a 3-way comparison of systems at the same price (for example, $1000)? One could be an AMD-based system, another an Intel-based, and a third maybe a graphics-heavy monster, or a MicroATX system (to see how much performance you sacrifice to stay in $1000 and fit a small form factor).
This processor is a beast for the price...Really Impressed
Except for the CPU cooler, you usually sacrifice nothing to go Micro ATX. Tom's Hardware even did a micro-ATX SBM...where the Core i7 system sucked because it had to use the stock cooler. You can find semi-small micro-ATX cases that fit mid-sized coolers.
Antec also makes a MICRO ATX MID TOWER which REALLY sux since it misses the point of Micro ATX completely, so I don't want to hear about that one.
And of course there's Micro ATX mini-towers with the same layout as full-ATX. You get all the performance of ATX and the big cooler, with a case that's around 14-15" tall.
My argument was not that they should do a $500-$1000-$2000 comparison of uATX builds - they did this. I was suggesting doing a $1000intel - $1000amd - $1000uATX comparison.