|Enthusiast Custom PC Build Q3-2010|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by Vito Cassisi - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 27 June 2010|
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Enthusiast PC Build Alternatives
No one design can cater for everybody. Whilst some people prefer getting maximum performance at all costs, others wish to invest in other areas, such as cool and quiet kit. A gamer will naturally want a beefy GPU or two, whilst an analyst wants CPU power for number crunching.
Here are some ideas for mixing up the provided builds:
It may be feasible to replace the case with a cheaper option, allowing for a higher-end GPU such as the HD5970, GTX480 or perhaps 2 x HD5850. Keep in mind that the case needs to dissipate the heat of high TDP (Thermal Design Power) components, and have the dimensions to cater for larger video cards. If you're not planning to overclock, cheaper memory and removal of the aftermarket heatsink will help with cost.
If you want to increase performance without skimping on other components, 2 x HD5770 instead of the HD5870 works very well. Keep in mind that some games are finicky with multiple cards. If you benchmark your storage devices, a modern SSD will do wonders.
General Usage/Budget Gamer
General use doesn't require excessive power, particularly if the extent of required resources goes to basic tasks such as video playback. You may omit the heatsink without concern, the stock cooler is sufficient. A high powered GPU isn't required, so something like a single HD5770 would be plenty. As for the CPU, it can be brought down to a i5 750 on the P55 machine, or to a Phenom II X4 955 on the 800G build.
As tempting as it may be, don't skimp on the PSU. Nothing is worse than having an overworked power supply blowing up, taking core components with it. Keep in mind that wattage isn't the only important rating, there's no guarantee that a cheap 1000W PSU can output half that reliably. Quality is very important.
And there we have it, the Enthusiast PC Build for Q3 2010! We love to hear from our readers, so don't hesitate to share your ideas for builds in the forum!