CPU: Intel Core i5-750
The Intel Core i5-750 has been a strong contender ever since its release, and that situation is no different today. The 700-series processors are unique among Intel’s Core i5 offerings, as they feature four physical processing cores.
In comparison, the 600-series models feature only two physical CPU cores. While Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology allows the Core i5-600 CPUs to operate on four threads at a time, it doesn’t do it as efficiently as true quad-core processors like the Core i5-750 and Core i5-760.
Note that when we specified the parts for this build, the Core i5-760 was not yet available for purchase, so we are settling on the older model for our System Builder Marathon.
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E LX
The Asus P7P55D-E Premium was an excellent performer in our Extreme P55: Four LGA 1156 Motherboards Over $250 article, and the P7P55D-E LX is very closely related to the Premium version.
The biggest difference is the lack of dual PCI Express (PCIe) graphics card slots, but the low $125 price for the LX model more than compensates for this when building a system intended for use with a single graphics card.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3
The Hyper TX3’s price has risen to the $30 range (compared to $20 when we began our build), and while we’re happy with its performance, we might consider other options in the same price range for future SBMs.
- The Balanced System
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Cards, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
- Assembly, Overclocking, And Core Unlocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Media Encoding
- Benchmark Results: 2D And 3D Graphics
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And Call Of Duty
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
- Power And Temperature Benchmarks