System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $1000 Enthusiast PC

CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler

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.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-750

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

Read Customer Reviews of 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

Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's 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.

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  • swamprat
    At a mere 65 degrees over ambient this rig looks insufficient to make tea (you should get the water to boiling to help it brew properly), unless it's summer and room temperature gets up to 35 that is.

    When will a system get around to using heat more efficiently (i.e. producing a constant stream of tea)?

    On a less irrelevant note - is the upsidedown layout more common these days? It looked intriguing
  • obsidian86
    you could get a samsung f3 1tb for the price of the WB 640