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Motherboard And Graphics

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

We wanted a motherboard with at least 32 PCIe 2.0 lanes, high overclocking stability, and enough features to justify existence in a PC that cost nearly $2000. The two best-priced models to fill those criteria were Asus’ Sabertooth and Gigabyte’s X58A-UD3R.

Read Customer Reviews of Gigabyte's X58A-UD3R

The X58A-UD3R’s advantages are few, such as its support for x8 mode on the third slot by lane-sharing, and its support for two more hard drives. But those extra features combine with our extra experience with this model to make it the easiest choice.

Graphics: 2 x EVGA GTX 470 in SLI

CPU bottlenecks were such a big issue at the graphics resolutions used in our previous Day 4 value analysis that we decided to scale back from a pair of GeForce GTX 480s to a pair of GeForce GTX 460s. Those high-end, value-crippling resolutions will still apply this round, yet we though we might be able to pick up a little medium-resolution performance from a pair of GeForce GTX 470s.

Read Customer Reviews of EVGA's GeForce GTX 470

Imagine our surprise when we found a pair of EVGA’s lifetime-warranty 012-P3-1470-AR cards priced similarly to its three-year-warranty competitors! A free warranty upgrade sounds like a bargain to us, so we put these on top of the list.

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