System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $1250 Enthusiast PC

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doron

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You've made a new chart in the 650$ build that summarized only 1920x1080 resolution. I believe you ought to do it also now even if it may make this month's build seem less appealing. That's because many people that come here may base their purchasing decisions around these SBM's.
 
I'm not sure I liked this one; it just "felt wrong." For one, I thought it was a little too focused on gaming. I think it might help if the editors clarify the purposes for which this PC is being built, or identify the type of user who would build this machine. Right now, it is too easy to criticize it, as each of us probably has a different idea of what the machine's goals are / were.
For my part, I think of the "enthusiast" build as an all-around general purpose professional's machine that can handle most pro tasks competently, and can also play games pretty well too (a Jack-of-All-Trades [even if also a Master-of-None]). In that context, I would have chosen a weaker (but still decent) GPU like a HD6870 or GTX560 in order to free up money for a better case, and possibly a larger SSD. I might have also chosen a smaller but still quality PSU in the 500W-550W range such as a 500W Earthwatts. With no CPU overclocking available, ditching the Crappermaster cooler would have saved another $20.
My own limited experience with Apevia cases suggests excellent design marred by horrible materials and shoddy quality control; I don't think it is an "enthusiast" case. One of the lower-end Antec or even Lian Li cases seems more suitable.
And, as pointed out, the read-only optical is just baffling...
 

g-unit1111

Titan
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Ugh... Apevia... why??? Awful awful manufacturer. I would have dropped the video card to a 7870 and upgraded the motherboard to the Gigabyte UD3H and the case to a Corsair Carbide or Fractal Design Arc MIDI, I would never recommend using Apevia on any build ever.
 

Pedrovsky

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So what you're saying is that he should have built essentially the same machine as last month? I think he made the point first page that it's not as fun to do the same thing again.
Can't see why not if that would make for a better/more balanced rig.

I cant see why you using P67 with a locked processor for exemple...why not a z68? and can't see the point on using a 7970 with a 2400...it would scale much better with i5 when you oc it. I cant see why would you spend 100$ on a 64gb SSD when you say you're giving it up for gaming performance... then give it up.

It is a good rig... but with that budget you can do alot better.
And GOD that case is awfull.
 

KT_WASP

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You are getting a lot of complaints for using that case and you know what? Here is one more, lol.

That was a really poor case choice. I understand trying out new and different things, but geez guys, this was a dud for sure. Price has nothing to do with it , as there are plenty of better options from Rosewill, NZXT, HeC, Apex and several other brands that fall within that price range. So, while I admire your willingness to branch out and try something new, I think you could have gotten a much better case for the money. At the least, this was a good article for what case not to buy, lol.

In the end though, a case, is a case, is a case. I have never spent over $50 on a case in my life, as I too believe in putting the lions share of the budget towards the internal hardware. If you can deal with creative cable management and skimping on some nicer features, a budget case will do its job. (as long as you not trying to some major heat inducing build/modding/overclocking that is).
 
G

Guest

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what a horrible configuration. i pray nobody reads this crap and tries to duplicate it. it appears the author decided to take the best video card out there and surround it by the cheapest crap he could find. why would anyone do this? nobody in their right mind would build this system. where's the balance? do you really think someone who's willing to shell out almost $600 on a video card is going to put it in a $40 case? might as well put a blown hemi in a pinto.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
[citation][nom]KT_WASP[/nom]You are getting a lot of complaints for using that case and you know what? Here is one more, lol.That was a really poor case choice. I understand trying out new and different things, but geez guys, this was a dud for sure. Price has nothing to do with it , as there are plenty of better options from Rosewill, NZXT, HeC, Apex and several other brands that fall within that price range. So, while I admire your willingness to branch out and try something new, I think you could have gotten a much better case for the money. At the least, this was a good article for what case not to buy, lol.In the end though, a case, is a case, is a case. I have never spent over $50 on a case in my life, as I too believe in putting the lions share of the budget towards the internal hardware. If you can deal with creative cable management and skimping on some nicer features, a budget case will do its job. (as long as you not trying to some major heat inducing build/modding/overclocking that is).[/citation]

I've had Apevia cases fall apart, I've had stuck power buttons, exploding PSUs, overheating and CPU temperature issues, you name it - such an awful brand, and I'lll never recommend anything they make on any build. A 7970 is overkill for a $1250 build anyways, in my builds on the forums, I never base my builds around getting a GPU that is unobtainable on a build for a budget that's - say less than $1300, then you have to cut corners on things like the case, motherboard, and PSU, and that is never a good thing, you always want to space your budget out over getting the best components you can get for your budget.
 

f-14

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over all, interesting choices Don, thanks, guess the end of my comment is all i am left wondering now with these SMB's until something better gets released. same old rule still applies GHZ, Bus speed, cores, ram.

The Mushkin Redline kit that we bought isn't on this platform's approved memory list; however, we tried modules from Corsair and OCZ as well. None of them got our board working the way it was supposed to. Increasing voltage didn’t help, and so we’re forced to run our tests in single-channel mode.
Don i know your a smart feller and i am just wondering if you tried this and you probably have so don't think to badly of me for mentioning this, i am just wondering since it wasn't stated. i have had this problem you are experiencing before along with alot of people who used crucial ballistixs when things were changing over from ddr2 to ddr3 and ddr3 chips were gutted down to ddr2 specifications. i have been reading about issues like this again on neweggs MB/memory reviews anew and some people ( the ones who know how to clock) are reporting that you sometimes have to undervolt by as much as .2 to get the ram to work properly which makes me wonder if ddr4 memory is already out and being gutted as it didn't make the grade but worked fine as ddr3 or if it was memory rated for 2000+ and didn't cut the grade so it was gutted to work just fine under 1600. another thing is that sometimes the ram that is clocked higher or over clocked sometimes only works in the 3-4 slots, i am reading that alot with the 67 chipsets.
always always always read the reviews before making the decision people.

as much as i love the corsair PSU's i hate their prices and for only (2) 6+2 pin pci-e and 650w 53 amps there are much better at $50, don't be afraid to shop around on the power supplies. for the last 3 years ocz, thermaltake and cooler master have been kicking corsairs butts with price feature and watt/amps. i could get much better psu's for the price you got this corsair.
don't be afraid to shop around. micro center and newegg both carry these models that two of are modular but they all sport (4) 6 pin pci-e with two models being pci-e 6+2 pin and one being pci-e (4) 6+2 pin and 50 or more amps.
up until 4-1-2012 which their price mysteriously went up to match the model you are using then could be had for $70-80.
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153136
OCZ ZS Series 750W 80PLUS Bronze
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153136
COOLER MASTER GX Series RS750
 

satyanjoy

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@ Don Woligroski: good article, nice mix and match..please bring article for mainstream 1080 pc gaming, nothing fancy just single monitor 1080 gaming with at medium setting for most demanding games like witcher2,metro etc
 

cleeve

Illustrious
[citation][nom]noob2222[/nom]looks like updating the bios for the 6100 allowed it to run in dual-channel mode instead of single channel. Too bad everyone is already convinced the entire problem with last quarters build was just the cpu.[/citation]

No.

The update was to the benchmark software (Sandra) not the BIOS.

The board was running in dual-channel mode the whole time, Sandra was misreporting the bandwidth. It was fixed in the newer version.
 

cleeve

Illustrious
General answers to a lot of comments I've been seeing:

The Case:
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It's really not that bad. Maybe you guys expect more from a case than I do: space, cable management, and airflow are my primary concerns, and this case has great space and airflow for a min tower. The cable management could have been better. It's unforgivable sin was poorly-threaded standoff holes. I'm not an elitist brand pusher so for me it doesn't automatically suck because it's not a name brand, sorry.

The SSD
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64 GB is plenty for the OS and applications, where it's needed for fast booting and app performance. The games went on the storage drive, that's simply a tradeoff you have to make is you want real storage space in this price segment. If a 128 GB SSD is enough for you to run a system off of, go to town. 128 GB doesn't cut it for me, though.

Motherboard
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ASRock makes some very good products that stand up to their competitors and often get awards for performance. The board's problem was not that it's an ASRock board, the board's problem is that it's a bad board. I have had bad boards from every manufacturer, it's a fact of life. Luck of the draw is a bitch, but that's what RMAs are for.
 
Its a pity they didn't use the GTX680 which is less then the price delta between the i5-2400 and the i5-2500K. It would made for a much better configuration. Perhaps they will change their minds and use the GTX680 on the next level system it wouldn't make sense to use the AMD 7970 again when you got the new GTX680 in house and ready to go.
 

Crashman

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Former Staff
[citation][nom]littleleo[/nom]Its a pity they didn't use the GTX680 which is less then the price delta between the i5-2400 and the i5-2500K. It would made for a much better configuration. Perhaps they will change their minds and use the GTX680 on the next level system it wouldn't make sense to use the AMD 7970 again when you got the new GTX680 in house and ready to go.[/citation]Can't change your mind about a product that didn't exist when you placed your order.
 

RedJaron

Splendid

I can only conclude you haven't extensively used a SSD-powered system. They're not just about fast booting, though it is the first thing you will notice. Think about it, a SSD improves performance anytime the disk is touched. Booting, application/game launching, opening files, reading files, saving files, etc.

In actuality, a SSD can be a better upgrade than even a GPU, mboard, or CPU. A powerful new processor and graphics card will only truly be utilized under heavy loads that the majority of computer users will never do. However a SSD speeds up a lot of core computer functionality that even casual users will see and appreciate every day.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Can't change your mind about a product that didn't exist when you placed your order.[/citation]
Why not, you still have 4.5 hours to pull it off!

JK :)
 

Darkerson

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Can't change your mind about a product that didn't exist when you placed your order.[/citation]

People seem to keep letting that detail slip by while theyre busy screaming 2500k and 680 at the top of their lungs. I want Toms to branch out like this. Otherwise every damn build would be a cookie cutter clone of the last. No thanks!
 

wysiwygbill

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I've been watching these builds and it's always good to get new ideas and see how well components work together. Still, like it was mentioned before, I don't buy based on a budget as much as I set a goal and look for the best deal that lets me reach the goal. So, Battlefield 3 at 1920x1080 with Ultra details, gold or platinum power supply with the ability to add a second video card later, and a dvd burner for example. That's just an example though so no one needs to look it up. :p

Something like this wouldn't be as variable as the pc within a budget since it might be hard to beat a good combination unless prices or available components change significantly. If a build was goal oriented an AMD processor might not even be considered as often.
 
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