System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

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xx12amanxx

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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.
 
G

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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*
 

nerrawg

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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.
 

nerrawg

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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?
 

jv_acabal

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$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.
 

maxwellsmart_80

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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.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]StupidRabbit[/nom]great article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?[/citation]

International competition is in edits--almost ready to go live! Interesting results there, too.
 
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.
 

jcknouse

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[citation][nom]THG Staff note:[/nom]Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon...[/citation]

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.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]jcknouse[/nom]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.[/citation]

Because they haven't been published yet ;-)
 

Tedders

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I agree with some of the other posters. I would like to see the SBMs with the new Phenom II. Maybe even some of the new AM3 systems. From what I have read, it can be a little tricky to setup a new AM3 system with the correct processor, motherboard and memory configuration.
 
[citation][nom]caamsa[/nom]Ahhh yet another "Intell System Builder Marathon" please call it what it is.[/citation]

Couldn't edit my comment; trying again...

...so really a sub-$500 build). I was going to go AMD, but discovered that an Intel 5200 is actually going to be cheaper, unless I give up a lot of performance. So, Caamsa, I expect the SBM articles will continue to use Intel chips at this price point.
 

allthatjazz

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I still don't see how you can call it a 'System Build' without factoring in the OS! Just call it a $725 build and throw Vista on there, or specify that you're doing an open OS.
 

billiardicus

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Nice Build. A few thoughts for anyone on a budget build:
1. Don't buy a crappy case. A good case can be used over and over again. You'll upgrade the cpu, gpu, mobo, etc...but you can keep using a case. There's plenty of great $50 cases (Centurion CAC5, Antec 300, etc). Pony up another $25, and get a solid case.

2. The same applies to the powersupply (Tom's picked a good one).
 

dirtmountain

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Another very good SBM article. Shows what a builder has to do to reach a budget in real life pricing by going with a cheaper case, HSF, CPU to get a higher performance GPU to fit in a build. Good addition with the power consumption charts, i'd have no problem running a quality 430w PSU with this build. I'm interested in seeing an AMD build, perhaps they'll be available for the Feb/Mar SBM articles. Good job and thanks for this great writeup.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]allthatjazz[/nom]I still don't see how you can call it a 'System Build' without factoring in the OS! Just call it a $725 build and throw Vista on there, or specify that you're doing an open OS.[/citation]
They also didn't throw in a Display, Input Devices (Keyboard/Mouse), or Speakers. All of those things are up to preference, and don't effect performance, beyond the settings that would be used to make full use of them.

I have multiple licenses for Windows XP Home and Pro, so it wouldn't cost me anything, but what if I preferred Fedora? If they installed Windows 7 Beta, would that make you happy?
 
My own rig, which gets upgraded from time to time, is in a RC-690; my wife's, which may also get upgrades, is in a Sonata III. For builds I don't anticipate upgrading, I've been perfectly happy with those cheap Rosewill cases. I noted the concern about cooling with a high overclock, but think an additional front 120mm fan would probably help.
Chris, is that something you could test for us? Check the temps on that chip once the other fan has been added? I think that would be useful information your readers would appreciate. Thanks.
 

allthatjazz

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[citation][nom]Tindytim[/nom]They also didn't throw in a Display, Input Devices (Keyboard/Mouse), or Speakers. All of those things are up to preference, and don't effect performance, beyond the settings that would be used to make full use of them.I have multiple licenses for Windows XP Home and Pro, so it wouldn't cost me anything, but what if I preferred Fedora? If they installed Windows 7 Beta, would that make you happy?[/citation]
Exactly my point! I'm not an OS snob at all, but a system should include everything that is needed to fire up and use the computer. Sure most of us recycle the display & peripherals, but last time I checked, Redmond still insists on a new OS with a new PC. If you happen to have an extra license laying around, fine. I for one would like to see the bottom line, though.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]allthatjazz[/nom]Exactly my point![/citation]
No it isn't. It's the antithesis of your point.

[citation][nom]allthatjazz[/nom]I'm not an OS snob at all, but a system should include everything that is needed to fire up and use the computer. Sure most of us recycle the display & peripherals, but last time I checked, Redmond still insists on a new OS with a new PC.[/citation]
You do know that when you 'buy' Windows, you're not buying software, you're buying a license to use that software. If I were to get a new computer, and decided to get rid of the old one, I could use the license from my old box, to install the OS on my old one.

[citation][nom]allthatjazz[/nom]If you happen to have an extra license laying around, fine. I for one would like to see the bottom line, though.[/citation]
Then just imagine they installed some random Distro on it, or the Win 7 Beta. Why would they include an OS in the price, when it isn't going to be the same for everyone who would build this machine?

Not to mention people would squabble over what OS Tom's decided on, Retail or OEM, 32-bit or 64-bit, Pro or Home, Home Premium or Ultimate?

Do you really have that difficult of a time adding 2 numbers?
 
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