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System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K

It’s no secret that Intel's Core i5-2500K is our favorite processor in the $200 price range, with gobs of overclocking headroom thanks to an unlocked multiplier, and fantastic stock quad-core performance attributable to a reasonably high 3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz in single-core Turbo Boost mode) clocks.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-2500K

Built on Intel’s mature 32 nm manufacturing process, this chip features 6 MB of shared L3 cache.

If you'd like to learn more about Intel's Sandy Bridge-based processors, check out our launch coverage of the architecture in Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review.

Motherboard: MSI P67A-G43

Read Customer Reviews of MSI's P67A-G43 Motherboard

This month we need to free up some budget for a dual graphics card setup, so we’re looking for a good board that doesn’t break the bank.

MSI’s P67A-G43 is very similar to their P67A-G65 that performed well in our P67 Motherboard Roundup, except that it’s equipped with fewer SATA ports (six instead of eight) and no on-board USB 3.0 support (although it does have two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel). Considering the relatively low $125 price tag, which dips down another $10 if you count rebates, we're willing to sacrifice some peripheral connectivity in the name of better overall platform performance.

CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Loki SD963

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Loki SD963

With three heat pipes, a 92 mm fan, and a low $25 price tag, we want to give the Loki a shot in this quarter's System Builder Marathon. We’re interested to see if it can provide similar cooling performance compared to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus we used in our previous build, which is also a unit that costs twice as much.

  • seller417
    650W is enough power for this rig?
    Reply
  • kelby0320
    Radeon HD 9950 I want one
    Reply
  • whysobluepandabear
    What? 6850 x 2 = $340? Um, I could get TWO 6870's for $350~ EASY. Sure, they have mail in rebates, but who cares.


    Two 6870's would stomp the 6850's, and you would literally spend the same, if not a measly $10 more.
    Reply
  • quixilver1
    Why change the cooler from the $200 pc. It is only $5 more and still within the budget.
    Reply
  • whysobluepandabear
    seller417650W is enough power for this rig?Well, looking into my tarot cards and crystal ball, I see It peaks at 400W at full load. So yeah, I think 650W may be a bit of an overkill.
    Reply
  • quixilver1
    quixilver1Why change the cooler from the $200 pc. It is only $5 more and still within the budget.Should read $2000 pc.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Overall, its a good build.
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    whysobluepandabearWell, looking into my tarot cards and crystal ball, I see It peaks at 400W at full load. So yeah, I think 650W may be a bit of an overkill.Why would it be overkill? Its the kind of headroom you should have so your not straining the psu. Sure you could get away with less, but for a few dollars more than a 500w unit you can get a 650w. Its perfectly balanced and leaves room for upgrade. Its good to see what 2 6850's can do but i think if I were building this PC i would chose a faster single card and upgrade to dual cards later.
    Reply
  • akorzan
    seller417650W is enough power for this rig?Yes. There is a misconception that rigs need over-sized power supplies. I have a Core i7 875k and a Radeon HD5850 running on a 400 Watt power-supply. Is it pushing it? Yes, if I clock it to 4.2 GHz and run Furmark and Prime95 none stop...
    No if I run Furmark and Prime95 at 3.33 GHz, and definitely no for any realistic workloads.
    Why did I get a 400 watt power-supply? Because it is darn silent and was recommended on Silent PC Review for "budget" power-supplies. (Bare in mind that "normal" are gold SeaSonics)
    Reply
  • whysobluepandabear
    iam2thecroweWhy would it be overkill? Its the kind of headroom you should have so your not straining the psu. Sure you could get away with less, but for a few dollars more than a 500w unit you can get a 650w. Its perfectly balanced and leaves room for upgrade. Its good to see what 2 6850's can do but i think if I were building this PC i would chose a faster single card and upgrade to dual cards later.
    Because he was asking if 650W was enough, when all he had to do was look at the chart and clearly see the 399W max system (CPU+GPU) load.


    So essentially, for that system, the 650W is more than enough, and ...effectively an "Overkill".
    Reply