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System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

Motherboard And Graphics

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

We wanted a motherboard with at least 32 PCIe 2.0 lanes, high overclocking stability, and enough features to justify existence in a PC that cost nearly $2000. The two best-priced models to fill those criteria were Asus’ Sabertooth and Gigabyte’s X58A-UD3R.

Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte's X58A-UD3R

The X58A-UD3R’s advantages are few, such as its support for x8 mode on the third slot by lane-sharing, and its support for two more hard drives. But those extra features combine with our extra experience with this model to make it the easiest choice.

Graphics: 2 x EVGA GTX 470 in SLI

CPU bottlenecks were such a big issue at the graphics resolutions used in our previous Day 4 value analysis that we decided to scale back from a pair of GeForce GTX 480s to a pair of GeForce GTX 460s. Those high-end, value-crippling resolutions will still apply this round, yet we though we might be able to pick up a little medium-resolution performance from a pair of GeForce GTX 470s.

Read Customer Reviews of EVGA's GeForce GTX 470

Imagine our surprise when we found a pair of EVGA’s lifetime-warranty 012-P3-1470-AR cards priced similarly to its three-year-warranty competitors! A free warranty upgrade sounds like a bargain to us, so we put these on top of the list.

  • amk09
    The link to enter the giveaway doesn't work!

    I would love to be first to enter :)
    Reply
  • micr0be
    i think im gona get a revo 2 drive ssd to upgrade my current build.... all thanks to santa !!
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Its good to know that choosing the wrong memory can affect performance in such a way.
    Reply
  • fstrthnu
    I'm pretty surprised we didn't see Geforce GTX 570s in this build, I guess they got released too late to make it here.
    Reply
  • fstrthnu
    >> First time in recent memory
    "Cough Cough" Lame Pun
    Reply
  • jerreece
    Wow that Mushkin memory really jacked up this benchmark.
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    Most perfect build ever ? Just read the configs yet, and I think that's a possibility.

    Now don't skin me if the config proves to be a flop in the coming pages. Just read the first page and couldn't resist a comment.
    Reply
  • hemburger
    Why not replace the two ssd's with a single intel 120gb... same price and now on 35nm
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    I think this one can be trimmed to a very good $1500 build as well. Change the CPU to i5 760, remove one of the cards, one of the SSDs, and you'll need lower capacity PSU for that, let's slash $30-$50 there, you get a very good PC for $1500.
    Reply
  • kkiddu
    And oh, cheapen the case as well. There's no free lunch. You gotta sacrifice some silence to gains some frame rates.
    Reply