System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $800 Enthusiast PC

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Onus

Titan
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Now I know you didn't just suggest that Tom's should still be testing with Unreal Tournament 2k4 and Morrowind... :whistle: :D

The point being, the tests will always evolve. The best we can expect is that too many of them won't be changed in any one cycle, leaving at least some "connections" to past builds.

 

donner

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Using the $600PC as a baseline, I think it is pretty clear what happened. Let's start with the graphics. About $100 to upgrade the power supply and get Tahiti LE graphics card. Leaves $100 which is enough to get a 7950 but that is not much faster than a 7870LE, but not enough to get to 7970. So, given the parameters of the SBM you target that money to a memory upgrade, CPU, fan, and MB hoping to get a better overclock on the CPU.

In real life there are things that won't help much in the SBM situation but we would derive more satisfaction for the spare $80 (I would get the memory upgrade) depending on your personal preferences like SSD, 3TB HD, BluRay Burner, bigger quieter CPU fan, quieter graphics card, add to the monitor budget, gaming mouse budget, dinner and a movie, etc...

 

robisinho

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(looks like the comment system is eating comments now when you login after submitting! rewriting)

I don't know about this ... using HDDs instead of SSDs is a non-starter for me, for anything but home media and file servers. If I was limited to only this build for my $800 for a new PC, I would probably keep my money and wait until the market changed. HDDs are just inappropriate for PCs anymore.

But then again, there's not much in the system that I can skimp on to get a reasonable SSD in there. Everything but the gpu and cpu are already bargain bin.

So I think what I would do is: bite the bullet and drop those nearly-$300 cpu and gpu parts, replace them with $100-ish parts, and use the several hundred dollars of savings in this build to get a 256GB high quality SSD, and hopefully 8 more gigs of RAM.
 

ojas

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]It would have been nice, except for a couple minor benchmark changes that made this 3-way comparison impossible. The old $2000 PC was shipped to the contest winner before it could be re-benchmarked...the old $1000 PC was re-benchmarked but didn't have one of the $2000 PC's original benchmarks...that comparison is just fubar in a couple places.However! If you look at the old $2000 vs $1000 results (previous day-4 roundup), and compare the performance differences between the new $1000 and old $2000 PC (tomorrow's system) you can come up with a solid answer. Sorry about the extra work.[/citation]
Ah no problem. Was just a "I'm curious to know" question. I'm used to running around half the internet for benchmarks, two tabs is not much at all! ;)

p.s. Won't complain, after all you folks do the real work! :)
p.p.s: how did that quote become silverblue's?
 

f-14

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i like that i can just look at parts and instantly see where the bottleneck is going to happen like the quad core i5 and the 92mm cpu heatsink. that was the first thing i was thinking i'd change, however i am curious if a 120mm fan mounted to that cooler could solve the problem of the overclock to 4.6 on the $800 build.

just merely a curiosity if a $5-$12 fan would be remedy enough
 

wolfreon

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I want to overclock my i5 3570k since I have big-air, I believe it can manage to stabilize @ 4.5ghz. I'm going to use that settings 24/7. Please help me because I tried overclocking @ 4.5ghz and I experienced some crashes while playing games like far cry 3 and crysis 3.
Here's my setup:

Processor: i5 3570k
HSF: Noctua D-14
Mobo: Asrock z77 Pro 3
RAM: G Skills Ripjaws X 4x2gb 1866 (set @ 1600mhz 9-9-9-24)
SSD: Crucial M4 128gb
HDD1: Samsung 1TB 7200RPM
HDD2: WD Green 1TB
VC: EVGA GTX 560 Ti FPB
PSU: Cougar Power 550w
Case: NZXT Phantom Full tower
 
MISTAKE:

Dirt Showdown is known to favor AMD cards significantly. The assumption that the extra performance is due to the i5-3570K mainly might be completely false.

While the results shown would be basically correct ON AVERAGE, they likely aren't true at all for Dirt Showdown. This illustrates the difficulty of comparing two systems with different CPU's and different graphics cards; how do you determine which part is contributing the most?

I have to say though, excellent build overall. $800 really seems to be the lower-limit for a good gaming build (in all fairness, there's tax, shipping and Windows 7/8 as well so it's closer to $1100).
 

cleeve

Illustrious
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[citation][nom]photonboy[/nom]MISTAKE:Dirt Showdown is known to favor AMD cards significantly.[/citation]

1- Dirt Showdown only 'favors AMD cards significantly' if global illumination is enabled.

2- More importantly: we didn't test Dirt Showdown for this review. We tested F1 2012. ;)
 
[citation][nom]Cleeve[/nom]1- Dirt Showdown only 'favors AMD cards significantly' if global illumination is enabled.1- More importantly: we didn't test Dirt Showdown for this review. We tested F1 2012.[/citation]

My mistake.
Anyway, as I said I was pretty impressed overall with the choice of parts. Cheers.
 

Dirtyjiujit

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Hey guys I just recently decided to build my first PC. As a result of my lack of experience I will be using all of the parts recommended in the article. I just need to know what kind of monitor and keyboard to buy. I do plan on doing some mild gaming. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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