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System Builder Marathon: $500 Gaming PC

Making Every Dollar Count

System Builder Marathon, October 2008 : 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).

How little money can you spend and still build a machine able to serve up decent performance in a wide range of applications and games ? In this System Builder Marathon, we aim to see if it can be done for less than $500.

With such a limited budget for the entry-level system, it seemed obvious that the components would need to take overclocking into consideration in order to truly put up impressive performance results.

Our choice of hardware may not satisfy everyone, nor will they necessarily offer the best performance out of the box, but we are confident that once overclocked, this system will squeeze a serious amount of performance and value out of each and every dollar spent. Let’s take a look at the pieces we picked for this month’s entry-level system.

ComponentModelPrice (U.S.D.)
CPUIntel Pentium E218070
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper TX230
MotherboardGigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L85
RAMWintec AMPO PC2-6400 2x1GB35
GraphicsPNY VCG88512GXEB-FLB GeForce 8800 GT 512MB110
Hard DrivesSeagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3400620AS 400GB65
SoundIntegrated 8-Channel HD Audio0
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking0
CaseAntec NSK4480B80
PowerEarthwatts 380W Included w/Case0
OpticalLite-On 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-0424
Total Price$499