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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $1000 Enthusiast PC

The Balanced System

System Builder Marathon, September 2010: The Articles

Here are links to each of the four 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 check out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $400 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected

Introduction

In the previous System Builder Marathon (SBM), we lowered our mid-range budget from $1500 to $1000. In order to compete with the preceding $1500 build on the graphics front, we opted for a Radeon HD 5830 CrossFire configuration. The $1000 limit forced us to make some compromises in the rest of the system, and we gambled on an OEM Phenom II X3 720—the risk paid off, and the CPU successfully unlocked with four fully-functioning processor cores. The end result performed admirably against the preceding quarter's $1500 PC, especially considering the $500-lower buy-in.

This time around, we put together what we consider a more balanced system. We considered a Phenom II X6, but since Thomas Soderstromchose that platform for his high-end machine, we thought it'd be more interesting to go with an Intel Core i5-750 to compare results.

With that said, here are the components we chose for the new midrange $1000 enthusiast system:

$1,000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset$125
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache$195
CPU CoolerCooler Master HyperTX 3$30
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit$90
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470 1280 MB GDDR5-3348$300
Hard DrivesWD Caviar Black 640 GB 640 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s$75
OpticalLite-On iHAS124 OEM24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM$20
CaseAntec Three Hundred$60
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS Certified$90
Total Cost$985

With current pricing, this system is actually $15 below our $1000 target, yet we make no significant compromises in any particular area. Let’s examine our hardware choices.

  • sassan_88
    ha ha Intel+nvidia beats amd based system!!!just like always
    and everyone is going to shoot me after this comment!!
    Reply
  • Wonder why the i5 vs the 1055t? I mean, the 1055t is pretty close to the i7 in multithreaded apps, and enthusiasts tend to run multithreaded programs.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    E_manWonder why the i5 vs the 1055t?
    This isn't really an i5 vs. 1055T article, there aren't even any 1055T performance numbers here. It's focused on the current $1000 PC vs the previous $1000 PC.

    Having said that, performance between all the builds will be compared in the upcoming conclusion article, and the ~$200 price of both the i5-750 and 1055T more than justifies a comparison. I'm certainly interested in seeing how they stack up against one another.

    E_man I mean, the 1055t is pretty close to the i7 in multithreaded apps, and enthusiasts tend to run multithreaded programs.
    Enthusiasts run a lot of stuff, heavily threaded and sometimes only using a processor. Enthusiasts play games, too, and those rarely take advantage of more than two or three cores...
    Reply
  • iamtheking123
    I think the question you guys are missing is: do you really need to spend $1000? As it stands you could build the June $1000 PC today for about $850 or so. And I have no doubt that a system like that would have no problem gaming a few years into the future. In terms of sheer performance, this build is better, but the June build is far more bang for the buck.
    Reply
  • SpadeM
    Quick question: what's the setting for the gpu acceleration in adobe photoshop?
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Prices have dropped these days.You can add GTX 460 768 MB SLI if you look for combos and MIRs.A great build nonetheless.Why didn't you get the Antec three hundred Illusion?It comes with the front fans pre-installed for 10 bucks more.
    Reply
  • dauthus
    I was hoping to see a pair of of gtx 460's in SLI, but I suppose that would have put the build slightly over budget. While I generally prefer single graphic solutions, the gf100 architecture makes me sad.
    Reply
  • elel
    dauthusI was hoping to see a pair of of gtx 460's in SLI, but I suppose that would have put the build slightly over budget. While I generally prefer single graphic solutions, the gf100 architecture makes me sad.I'm guessing that these cards weren't out at the time.
    Reply
  • Its really impressive on how intel i5 can perform and power up that gtx 470, makin it better choise than 2 ati at same money!

    Intel really makes difference , that´s why it been always a little more pricey i guess...
    Reply
  • willgart
    good point... what is the today price of the june 1000$ system? could you include the June 2000$ system in the comparison too?
    so will have a june 850$(?) vs august 1000$ vs june 1700$(?) comparison.
    Reply