System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $2000 Performance PC

CPU Cooler And Optical Drive

Following the theme of new stuff first, we now present the new CPU cooler and optical drive.

CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Gaia SD1283

While our $2000 builds have long relied on the superior cooling performance (per dollar, at least) of Scythe’s SCMG-2100, Newegg increased the price of that part nearly 20% before running out of stock. We wanted to pinpoint another solid value before simply falling back on an old favorite at a higher price, so we dug deep into our CPU Cooling Archives to determine which model offered the best cooling for the money at Newegg’s current prices.

Read Customer Reviews of Xigmatek's Gaia SD1283

Xigmatek’s $30 Gaia SD1283 came out the winner by a fairly large margin, matching Cooler Master’s $40 Hyper 212+ in separate but identical tests.

Optical Drive: LG WH10LS30 BD-RE

We decided to save a little money on the optical drive this month, but still didn’t want to sacrifice Blu-ray capability. LG and Newegg were there for us with an older model, the WH10LS30.

Read Customer Reviews of LG's WH10LS30

Those who own a Blu-ray drive might even be tempted to play a movie once in a while, and for that we need software. Fortunately, this so called “bare OEM” drive comes with an OEM version of Cyberlink Blu-ray Disc Suite. All we really lost for our $30-50 savings is a little bit of write speed, down to 10x from 12x, and that probably won’t be a big issue for most users who only burn discs occasionally.

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  • Anonymous
    Really? The 3rd generation of SSDs are well and truly here and you stick with 2 older ones? I am disappoint. The main reason I enjoy these System building articles (I used one as a base to build my current rig) is that you guys tend to swap the components around a bit more and you really get a sense of what's better. I would have loved to see the productivity differences between the RAIDed aData drives and say a new Vertex 3 120G or something similar. Anyway, keep it up!
  • blubbey
    Hmmmm.... Just nit-picking, but what if it used a normal optical drive, some 6950 2gb's (possible unlock to 6970's) and the old case. That'd be what.. possibly $300+ saving? ~50 for the drive, 75 for the case and the cards are 90 less than the cheapest 6970. That'd be enough for triple 6950's (possibly triple 6970's, then again if you did brick the cards that'd be a lot of money wasted).
  • aje21
    ASRock Z68 Extreme4: LGA 1155, Intel P67 Express

    Hmm, not quite right me thinks!
  • kajabla
    Mistake in the GPU section: it claims that "A pair of Radeon HD 6850s beats a pair of GeForce GTX 570s at our 2560x1600 target resolution, and the HD 6970 is even faster." That should be the 6950s that beat 570s (6850s would be pretty awesome, but I don't think so).
  • malloot
    It's weird how you guys somewhat 'forget' to mention the 25+ bad ratings for the adata ssd's on newegg. Its almost like you want to help newegg get rid of there bulk of bad adata ssd's.

    Is there any info on those ssd's you could mention? is the sleep bug resolved in a new firmware version? are the new ssd's updated to work properly for more then a month?..

    none of those questions seems to even have risen in your build. i expect better from this site