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System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Graphics Card And Hard Drive

Graphics Card: Sapphire 100245L Radeon HD4850 512 MB

This non-reference Sapphire HD 4850 was louder than desired but served us well last month by running cool and reaching Catalyst Control Center's (CCC) maximum clock speeds. A $10 price reduction made it the cheapest available HD 4850 and an easy choice again for this month’s system. 

Read Customer Reviews of Sapphire’s Radeon HD 4850 512 MB

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500 GB

Once again, this 7200.11 series Seagate 500 GB drive was chosen for its speed, reliability, and 32 MB cache buffer. A $5 price drop was an added bonus that allowed us to increase the budget for other components. 

Read Customer Reviews of Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11 500 GB HDD

  • spirto
    once again no amd setup? i thought you said you were going to give us amd users a smb
    Reply
  • DFGum
    Sure they could give a 625 dollar AMD setup, but it just wouldnt be as good at this time so why bother?
    Its always about value at the price points.
    Reply
  • JeanLuc
    What’s the point in an AMD setup when the Intel option gives you better value for money?
    Reply
  • Claimintru
    Negative'd you Spirto for being a mindless fanboy.
    Reply
  • V3NOM
    lol... my e5200 crapped out at 3.7ghz 1.4vcore... someone i know got his e7300 to 4.0ghz at some ridiculous vcore though lol... it really depends on teh chip. some get good VID's, some get bad. some overclock good, some overclock crap, its the natura of binning. naturally e8400's would be binned more than the 5 and 7 series, and the e8500/8600 would be better still.
    Reply
  • when r u guys gonna write about the nvidia ion platform?!?!?!?!
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    i wouldn't risk buying an e7300 over an e5200. i have built amd systems, now i'm regretting why i didn't bought pentium dual core which are practically core2duo's with less cache.

    regarding nvidia ion, i think intel is thinking deeply of whether they allow nvidia to Atom since netbooks still sell without it.
    Reply
  • Veesofnaught
    I actually just got done purchasing parts for a new pc that ended up being around that same price. This is my first time building a PC so I'm not sure if I could have done better, but I think it's worth mentioning if anyone is interested in going for a Quad Core instead of the Dual Core.

    Intel Quad Core Q6600
    Asus P5QL Pro Motherboard
    NVidia 9800 GTX
    GSkill 4 Gb Ram
    580 Watt PSU
    Rosewill Mid-Tower
    160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    SATA CD/DVD Burner
    Reply
  • Master Exon
    I guess I will share my for-Christmas build with TH.

    $82 2.5GHz E5200 45nm C2D
    $0 (no CPU cooler)
    $54 ASUS P5KPL-CM
    $34 A-DATA 2x2GB (4GB) DDR2 800
    $200 GeForce 260
    $55 WD 320GB WD3200AAKS
    $0 integrated sound
    $0 integrated network
    $12 Spray painted an old beige case black.
    $67 500W SeaSonic
    $22 LG DVD burner
    $10 card reader

    $526 Total

    I don't see why they didn't shave off $40 for the cheaper CPU
    Reply
  • weinheimer
    That is a nicely configured system at fair pricing
    Reply