System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K

There’s still no viable alternative to the Core i5-2500K in our thousand-dollar enthusiast build. This is a CPU that holds onto the best price, performance, and overclocking values we've seen, and it's almost a year old already!

With four execution cores running at 3.3 GHz and spinning up to 3.7 GHz with a single core active in Turbo Boost mode, plus 6 MB of L3 cache, this efficient 32 nm chip has no equal in the $200 price range. If you’d like to learn more check out our Core i5-2500K launch coverage.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-2500K

Motherboard: EVGA P67 Micro SLI

While MSI showed us a good time with its P67A-G43 in last quarter's SBM for a low $130 price tag, we wanted to mix things up a bit this month. So, we're going with EVGA’s P67 Micro SLI.

We don’t really need the extra space inside the chassis. But when we started filling in our shopping list, this Micro ATX model was one of the most affordable options with two x8 PCIe slots. At today's price of $150 it has more competition. But it will be interesting to see how the board fares, regardless.

Read Customer Reviews of EVGA's P67 Micro SLI

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3

We’re trying to make space in our budget for the SSD drive, so we need an inexpensive, yet high-performance CPU cooler. At $19.80, we've seen Cooler Master’s Hyper TX3 do a decent job for us in the past, and we’re employing it in our current build.

Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's Hyper TX3

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  • 13thmonkey
    I don't appear to have any page forward backward indicators after the 2nd page.
  • tranzz
    change the last number in the url to the page number ie 3 for the next page
  • 13thmonkey
    I did, not really the point though is it? Oh and the Submit button doesn't work in ie9 unless i'm using compatability mode, this has been noted in formums before, emailed before, ie9's been out for 6 months, and whilst its not that popular 4.2% of total according to some figures, its bigger than opera and safari... And if I switch to compat mode with copy and paste of text I lose my comments. Some submit buttons don't work at all - Toms IT pro I'm looking at you, an email to the authors garners no response, very pro on both counts. This is going downhills fast, if there's a refresh coming up then put a notice up saying so and apologising for the poor standards, but there was one a few months ago, along with a drop in content. I've been following toms for over a decade, will it get another decade out of me, it could, but only if thy make the pages work and keep the content, both published and user generated, relevant.

    Sorry tranzz, you only said change a 2 to a 3.
  • tranzz
    I am using IE9 and agree with ^
  • 13thmonkey
    Don, these comments are not aimed at you, I remember when you were a user, remember us poor mortals down here... if you are relying on this for your paycheck be careful.
  • horzapaceyourself
    Still getting used to the (ever changing) number game with follow the component industry so bare with me here ;) By the look of the Total Wattage Usage chart the SLI'd rig only seemed to be maxing out at 486W. Does this mean that a 600W PSU is more than adequate for a SLI set up? What about for example a GTX570 SLI rig? I've heard the GF100 chips are a lot more efficient.
  • Anonymous
    How does windows work on a 30gb SSD? It onely barely squeezes onto a 60gb drive....
  • damian86
    and again, posting an article based in dollars on a UK website! how daft!! it's no use to us!
  • 13thmonkey
    they had gotten better at that for a while.