System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

System Builder Marathon, March 2011: The Articles

Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this Google form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!

Day 1: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
Day 5: Tom's Hand-Picked SuperCombo


When we spec'ed out this quarter's System Builder Marathon machines, the Intel Cougar Point chipset issue hadn’t yet reared its ugly head, and we ordered Intel's Core i5-2500K. Because of this this, we held off on publication until fixed Sandy Bridge platforms showed up at retail. While the specific ASRock motherboard we chose for this build hasn't yet reappeared, there are comparable options based on the same P67 Express chipset available with identical performance, and we expect this one will pop up shortly, too.

Let’s get straight to it! Here are the components as tested:

$1000 Enthusiast System Components
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache
CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB
1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST
24x DVD Burner
CaseIn-Win Android
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
 Total Cost$976.91
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  • mi1ez
    What an ugly case!
  • 23hp
    yeah, imagine the look on the wifes face if you brought that thing home...