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System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

System Builder Marathon: $1000 Enthusiast System

System Builder Marathon, June 2011: The Articles

Here are links to each of the five articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
Day 5: Tom's Hand-Picked SuperCombo

Introduction

This quarter we’re staying close to the formula we used to put together our previous $1000 system, with one major change: dual graphics cards instead of a single Radeon HD 6950. It will be interesting to see how a couple of mid-range cards operating in tandem stand up to our last effort, considering we were able to unlock that board's artificially-disabled APUs and overclock it to specifications almost identical to a real Radeon HD 6970.

Of course two mid-range boards are more expensive than a single high-end card, so we have to choose a few components that don’t cost as much as the ones we used last time in order to keep the price close to the $1000 target.

Here’s our shopping list:

$1000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardMSI P67A-G43 LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset$125
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache$220
CPU CoolerXigmatek Loki SD963$25
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit$55
Graphics2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850  1 GB GDDR5$340
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s$70
OpticalLG GH22MS7022x DVD Burner$20
CaseXclio Nighthawk$55
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified$90
Total Cost$991
  • 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