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Written by Vito Cassisi - Edited by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Enthusiast Custom PC Build Q3-2010
The Battle Plan
The Builds
Enthusiast PC Build Alternatives

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.

SilverStone_K60.jpgHere are some ideas for mixing up the provided builds:

Hardcore gamer/benchmarker

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!



# Exactly 2 months after he dissed the i7-930...Greg 2010-06-27 16:56
...Olin has finally seen the light and acquired one.
More power to him!

IMHO, it's the fastest processor that makes sense to buy right now.
(Micro Center sells it for $200.)
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# Seriously?Olin Coles 2010-06-27 16:59
LOL! I'm not the only person writing for Benchmark Reviews... this was Vito's project!

For the record, I never 'dissed' the i7-930 at all. I'm not even sure where you got that, because our previous discussion was about how more people had the i7-920.
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# These are configurations of PC lenses!Federico La Morgia 2010-06-27 23:20
I guess we just do not, these configurations are for enthusiast gamers, but gamers medium level.
If you want you can benchmark review I propose a configuration enthusiast gamers, since daily selling PCs because of this score:)
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# RE: Enthusiast Custom PC Build Q3-2010Robert17 2010-06-28 04:31
Well done!

I've upgraded continuously for 21 years tossing a few bucks at a time into replacing older components. When the kids were growing up I had three units networked which killed my ability to perform a new build. During those years a new build utilizing higher performance parts such as you list above, all modern and shiney new, would have cost a couple of thousand bucks easily. I recall performing the "dream" exercise a few times with an outcome of $3000 to $5000.

It's remarkable that such "hot rods" are relatively afordable these days. Just goes to show what free markets are all about. Now that the kids have left us empty nesting the upgrades are on a little quicker path and I'm enjoying my hobby with gusto. Thanks for your help, along with a few others, in keeping pace with the rapid changes.
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# NobodyJames the Hamster 2010-07-31 13:52
I have always wanted to do a build using the I7 920, now I think I will use the 930. Appreciate the info, and what I may need to build a decent build.
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# Building Custom PCRob Mills 2010-12-24 05:44
Great guide and packed full of tips - I was going to be attempting a custom build myself recently although it all started to look a little overwhelming when trying to get all the componenets together - I didn't realise that I have recently noticed a number of website systems such as where you can build your own system choosing the parts as you go like CPU, motherboard, graphics card etc so i might end up using something such as this - at least i can select the parts i require/need whilst keeping a close eye on budget as i am building it.

Would you recommend this or do you reckon i should just jump straight in and try building one myself? heh.
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# RE: Building Custom PCOlin Coles 2010-12-25 03:40
I recommend building the computer yourself. It's not very difficult, and there's plenty of instruction available (especially on this website). Plus, you'll be able to repair/upgrade your own system if it's ever necessary.
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