System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $2000 PC

Motherboard And Graphics

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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  • zanmatoer
    "The number of pixels in a 2560x1600 display is slightly higher than those of three 1280x1024 displays, so the new $2500 PC could be a good choice for Nvidia Surround gaming."

    I'm fairly certain that's supposed to be " the new $2000 PC could be..."

    Looking forward to Day 4!
  • mi1ez
    AVG’s anomalous performance is almost legendary at this site. We’d like to credit the new system’s faster drives for the win, but the benchmark difference is too small to represent the drives’ enormous performance disparity.

    And yet it's still in the SBM?
  • tobensg
    Has anyone got £1500 to build a Performance PC at the moment?! IMO these marathon builds are a waste of time.
  • damian86
    Normally those marathon pcs do not get my atraction, spending 2000 dollars in a machine with only 6gb of ram? there are better prices out there,you can make this machine more powerfull. not a long time ago THW had an article showing info about swapfile explaining that 8 gb or RAM makes a very stable just saying...
  • damian86
    I would have installed 2x6870 radeons instead of these power hungry 470's...they re cheaper as well