System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $1,000 Enthusiast PC

Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive

Memory: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3-10600) Dual-Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Crucial's dual-channel memory kit contains the same highly overclockable budget RAM that impresses us time and time again. At $112, it’s exactly what our $1,000 build needs.

Read Customer Reviews of Crucial's DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Kit

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB

Read Customer Reviews of Western Digital's Caviar Blue 320GB

Choosing a relatively slow 320GB hard disk is another controversial decision. But frankly, the real-world difference in application performance won't be as affected by storage performance, especially when mechanical hard drives are the only products in our price range.

Primarily, our choice was affected by our budget. But unless you’re downloading a lot of media content, 320 GB should work fine as a primary drive for most folks. Of course, anyone putting a system together could certainly throw a bit more money at something larger to suit their needs.

Optical Drive: OEM Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner SATA

Read Customer Reviews of Lite-On's iHAS124 DVD Burner

The Lite-On iHAS124 delivers faster-than-average 24x DVD+R write speeds and a 2MB cache, all for a mere $23 price tag. That's enough reason for us to try it out in this month's $1,000 machine.

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  • goxon
    nothing for us in rest of the world? we are not competitive for you? maybe we need to go somewhere else
  • mi1ez
    Would have been interesting to see if the cpu could have been pushed further as an X3 and how that would have affected the benches.
  • eriko
    Would be interesting if each time they build one of these systems they ship it off to me!
  • williehmmm
    Agree with mi1ez, from what I've read a x3 can clock a bit higher than x4, and most games don't use that 4th core, so a better set up may have been x3 hitting 3.6 - 3.8 rather than locked down to 3.4 x4.
  • mi1ez
  • baldinie
    is this just a plug for intel. Why does the june system for $1000 go up against a march system for 1500. obviously in the space of 3 months, $500 IS going to make a huge difference. and why 2x5830, not jus a 5870?
    Specially in the UK where our slump in the £ and the fact that we subsidise the US marke with equvilent £/$ pricing makes these parts way more expensive now.
  • stephenriddle
    I built a system very similar to this a couple of months ago with:
    CPU: core i5 750 ~$200
    GPU: Radeon 5850 ~$290
    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB)G.skill echo low voltage (1.35v)
    Mobo: Asus p55
    with those changes my 3dmark was over 18k
  • discboy321
    As a system builder myself I would love to see more builds in the $1000 mark and below. These are hard times no matter where you are from. By the way the next time you build a $2500 Intel Please ship it to me for a tryout. I can only dream of having one. By the way I am in Wisconsin,usa for the folks over at Toms Hardware. Also could you do more builds with a single card rather than always crossfire or sli conf. Thx
  • mi1ez