System Builder Marathon, May '09: $2,500 Performance PC

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dethsite2

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as much as i like the portability for this system,if you want something portable as a gaming rig use a laptop..

don't get me wrong micro atx's have their place in the world, personally i would gone with a single vid card, there is no point sticking 2 vid cards in a confined space like that... not enough air in there as it is..

here's what i'd do, go 360gb raptor for OS and a 2nd 1tb hard drive for gaming..

personally i prefer full towers with enough space to propagate a min of 2 hard drives..

while this is a nice pc for gaming I give a max of 12month's or less before you start replacing parts because of lack of cooling..

to be honest if I was offered a chance of a free pc I would jump at the chance, though being in Australia it's pretty slim pickings me winning any of the pc's anyway, freight would be a bitch, not to mention the psu having to support 240v mains power system..

looking at the top cpu's in I7 i couldn't justify the cost in building a system on the I7 platform anyway, I'd go with highest phenom II cpu since it's $800 cheaper the the i7..

I don't overclock my systems as I like to get atleast 2-3 years out of my cpu before it fries...

this article seems to be nothing but a show boat, to see how many vid cards you casn fit in a mini/midi atx style case without a safety concern for the user..

looking at the high temps we see.. in the results, in this situation i think 2 vid cards are nothing but overkill
 

walp

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom][/citation]

lol, Crashman, you dont understand sarcasm.

I was referring to the fact that they EXCLUDED Crysis from the newest GFX-charts-comparison, and included a game that no-one ever have heard of (some kind of lame Schoolbus or dragon-simulator). :p
 
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Was there no way to use low profile aftermarket coolers like the Thermalright AXP-140 that has LGA1366 compatibility, the Cooler Master GeminII S (can be made compatible with a retention bracket, RR-ACC-1366-GP), or a Zalman VF2000LED CNPS7000C-Cu LED CNPS8700 (NT or LED) (I'm partial torwards LED Heatsinks for aesthetics in a Windowed Case like the Thermaltake LANBox that i own) or a Thermaltake BlueOrb or MaxOrb coolers, depending on the availability of the 1366 retention brackets, that seem to be available from all vendors. Also, i'm wondering why not try the lanbox cases from thermaltake, that also have a handle/no handle option, and they also allow some stuff inside, with prolly the game breaker being allowing only a 9.6" video card w/o removing the HDD cage.

Great Build Overall! I seriously considered building around a i7 920/uATX X58 recently, but didn't have the cash for it, i went with a Pentium Dual Core e5200 and am studying/looking for a nice low profile cpu cooler to overclock the heck out of it inside a lanbox case :p
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Lblack[/nom]Was there no way to use low profile aftermarket coolers like the Thermalright AXP-140 that has LGA1366 compatibility, the Cooler Master GeminII S (can be made compatible with a retention bracket, RR-ACC-1366-GP), or a Zalman VF2000LED CNPS7000C-Cu LED CNPS8700 (NT or LED) (I'm partial torwards LED Heatsinks for aesthetics in a Windowed Case like the Thermaltake LANBox that i own) or a Thermaltake BlueOrb or MaxOrb coolers, depending on the availability of the 1366 retention brackets, that seem to be available from all vendors. Also, i'm wondering why not try the lanbox cases from thermaltake, that also have a handle/no handle option, and they also allow some stuff inside, with prolly the game breaker being allowing only a 9.6" video card w/o removing the HDD cage.Great Build Overall! I seriously considered building around a i7 920/uATX X58 recently, but didn't have the cash for it, i went with a Pentium Dual Core e5200 and am studying/looking for a nice low profile cpu cooler to overclock the heck out of it inside a lanbox case[/citation]

Unfortuantely the system was limitted to the parts carried by one supplier. It might be the best supplier for overall choice, but it doesn't specialize in coolers. Like I said before, if they'd properly cataloged the Asus Rampage II Gene, it would have probably been chosen for its ability to support low-profile LGA-775 coolers such as the CNPS8700.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]fausto[/nom]who chose that case? i mean it just sucked if it limited your overclocked potential. give me a p180 any day.[/citation]

"You" did, the plural "you" meaning readers. Readers asked for game cubes, the SG03 is a variation of the game cube design. It has the same CPU area as the SG01 used for the $600 PC, but the $2500 system's Core i7 CPU makes much more heat than the one used in the $600 PC.

It's a deficiency of compact portable case design. Other potential cases had problems such as:

1.) Most cubes didn't have room for a long power supply AND an optical drive (DVD, BRD, CD, whatever). The long power supply was needed for its capacity.
2.) Many cubes required removal of the hard drive cage to install extra long graphics cards.
3.) Any cubes that didn't have these issues violated the portability concept by being around twice the size of the SG01.

 

bounty

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Look at the Silverstone cube. Lay it on its side. Voila, you have the Silverstone micro tower seen here.Cubes really are a bad idea. Micro ATX cubes are around 30% wider than a standard full tower and around 50% taller than an HTPC-style desktop. If you're building for HTPC, the desktop fits the rack and is shorter. If you're building for portability, the skinny tower is easier to carry assuming you're lucky enough to have a top handle.The SG03 micro tower and SG01 cube are within 2% of each other in size (lenth*width*depth) so if your excuse for using a cube is size, there's no good reason not to put the SG03 in the same category as the SG01.As for the mid-sized mini-tower used in the $1300 PC, you'll have to start a thread there to address it.[/citation]

Honestly when you said cube I was thinking of the barebones Shuttle boxes 11.8" x 7.9" x 7.3", the other systems like the Apevia X-Qpack2 or Fragboxes seem huge by comparison, although they have a handle. Like I said before, if you're just looking for something with a handle, motherboard doesn't matter as much, nor does size unless it's freaking massive. As a side note.... maybe you also should have measured their weight and asked a petite secretary to walk around with them and judge their portability. :>
 

lichocpu

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Unfortuantely the system was limitted to the parts carried by one supplier. It might be the best supplier for overall choice, but it doesn't specialize in coolers. Like I said before, if they'd properly cataloged the Asus Rampage II Gene, it would have probably been chosen for its ability to support low-profile LGA-775 coolers such as the CNPS8700.
And is there any chance of seeing a comparison of these low-profile coolers? 'Cause i know you have the CNPS8700's in a normal-cooler comparison, and they didn't fare too well against the tower-coolers in those comparisons, but those where the only low profile ones. Also, there are new low profile ones, and from different vendors, which could prove interesting in a review oriented in coolers that fit small cases like the ones used in this month's marathon, or shuttle boxes or thermaltake lanboxes, 'cause i haven't found a comparison of low-profile coolers on the net.

Thanks for the reply :)
 
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This build makes me sad... its so... terrible. Stock cooling on a $2.5K rig - are you serious? Not even a domino ALC... STOCK. Please, knee yourselves in the face right now.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]PB_likethebutter[/nom]This build makes me sad... its so... terrible. Stock cooling on a $2.5K rig - are you serious? Not even a domino ALC... STOCK. Please, knee yourselves in the face right now.[/citation]

That's a rude way to talk to your fellow readers, who suggested the build in the first place. Please don't tell Tom's Hardware to quit listening to readers.
 

andy_mcp1

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I have to say i agree with Toms (Crashman), some pretty rude cutomers here. if your not interested in sff case then why read the article and comment letting the world know your discrepencies with it. Everyone has a unique and individual taste and this article is to satisfy Toms readers who appreciate sff. I have this case (SG03) and agree with crashman that ventilation is NOT an issue. But also agree that the two GTX's are overkill and is the cause in the heat build up.

I can understand Toms obligations to their suppliers and have more of a constraint than us readers.

If this was done without constraint you could easy fit the Asus board in, an after market cooler and the suggested hdd setups etc etc Just remember this is just a guide, what you buy with your money is entirely up to you. I find it very hard to believe that any of you will ever find someone else with a case exactly the setup as yours, or as some of the arrogant readers would say " not as good as mine"! Each to their own i say, what makes us individules. personaly i liked the article even though i would do the build differently myself, it was informative!
 
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I have successfully built this rig with some modifications:
1) I used a Intel 975 EE Processor
2) I chose more expensive OCZ Blade RAM;

Due to some trouble getting the rig set up ( hadn't changed the Memory LowGap ) I had it running with the PSU outside of the case to allow easier access to the internals. Well, I've been leaving it open for now and it doesn't consume too much space, nor does it run very hot. I'm easilly reaching 4 Ghz rock solid at decent temps.

So I for one am happy. Thanks, TomsHardware! I travel between the US and Europe, and while I wont be able to take this puppy with me as carry on, I'll at least be able to UPS it to me for half a grand.. eh, better than no computer to game with at all!
 

tryceo

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EVGA Classfied with 3 285 GTX is way better than this set up...
Change the western digtals to Seagate Baracuuda 7200.12 500GB is goona be way faster.. And since it is 2500... why not get a water cooling system.... This build looks like crap... the builders need to think on a higher level, not just go with what Companies says... I can do this same build with like $500 less and the performance would be better.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]tryceo[/nom]EVGA Classfied with 3 285 GTX is way better than this set up...Change the western digtals to Seagate Baracuuda 7200.12 500GB is goona be way faster.. And since it is 2500... why not get a water cooling system.... This build looks like crap... the builders need to think on a higher level, not just go with what Companies says... I can do this same build with like $500 less and the performance would be better.[/citation]

And for being completely unable to follow the rules, you disqualify your build from this compact PC roundup which means you've wasted your money and everyone else's time.
 
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