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System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Motherboard And Memory

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L

Without the need to change to a CrossFire-ready motherboard, we again chose the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L P45 because of its performance, value, and overclocking-friendly features.

Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte's GA-EP45-DS3L

An all-solid capacitor design, dual BIOS, and Dynamic Energy Saver technology are some this board's other highlights. An available mail-in rebate could have brought the cost another $15.

Memory: G.SKILL HK 4GB DDR2 800

This G.Skill PC2-6400 was the most affordable 4 GB kit available with 4-4-4-12 timings. It has aluminum heat spreaders, is rated at 1.8-1.9 V, and is backed by a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

Read Customer Reviews of G.Skill's 4 GB HK DDR2-800 Kit

  • xx12amanxx
    Yeah Games are definatly more GPU bound than CPU bound at this time.But what about the user who decodes? Next month might be a good time to intro the new am3 triple core seeing as its being sodl for around 150$ and has been seen Oced up to 1ghz over stock.
    Reply
  • As I read this review I wonder, why this is only server I know that provides such a throughout testing and evaluation of OC benefit...
    *THUMBS UP*
    Reply
  • nerrawg
    Nice article guys, like how you seem squeeze the value out of the builds, definitely a good choice of build! My only question is one of personal interest, I wonder if disregarding the set price of $625, a crossfire set up of 2 4830s would give more bang for the buck in gaming then 1 4870? Of course as you have shown it would depend on the cpu, I was thinking around 4 Ghz on a dual core and 4 gigs ram. I am wondering because 2 x 4830 can be had for as little as $170-180 now, and thats pretty awesome.
    Reply
  • nerrawg
    Looking at the "Radeon HD 4830: High-Speed, Cheap CrossFire" article the results look fairly similar to that seen from this build, with maybe some very small gains in Supreme commander and crysis, while World in Conflict appears to due better on this newer january build. However the 4830 CF was on a test bed without an OC'ed cpu and without overclocking the 4830's, hence my curiosity to know if doing this would significantly increase performance and value over the single 4870?
    Reply
  • StupidRabbit
    great article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?
    Reply
  • jv_acabal
    $43 difference bang for the buck. How about in the long run? Sure you'll be paying more than 43 bucks for the electricity bill. I think January's build is better. It might be slower than this month's build but is still very playable at most games.
    Reply
  • maxwellsmart_80
    Why do you keep building the same system (practically) over and over again?

    It would have been awesome to see a system based on the Phenom II X3 "700 Series" at this price point....especially paired w/ the ATI 4830 or 4850. Dont'cha think a 4870 is a tad much for a "$625 system?" - you would have had a "Dragon Platform" - very doable at your price range. You wouldn't have had to do DDR3 either - DDR2 would have worked quite nicely.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    StupidRabbitgreat article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?
    International competition is in edits--almost ready to go live! Interesting results there, too.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Excellent article. I think this was a good build.
    That Rosewill case (and all their cheap ones like it) will take a front mounted 120mm fan. You had $6 left over, so it would have fit in your budget.
    Reply
  • jcknouse
    THG Staff note:Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon...
    I hate being picky...but...

    The links aren't imbedded in those 4 article designations at the top of the article, as of the writing of this note.
    Reply