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Enthusiast Custom PC Build Q3-2010
June 27 2010
Performance is often attributed to expensive objects of desire. In the automobile space, it's generally accepted that a higher performing vehicle will incur a significant markup over the average fuel-efficient family offerings. Computing is much the same. Retail OEM machines are pre-built at predetermined price points, often targeting the humble office/Internet-centric user. Performance isn't a primary concern for these systems, nor are upgradability or customization. On the other hand, you have the expensive 'gamer' orientated machines which cost several thousands of dollars! This is where Benchmark Reviews steps in. They've sat down and created three enthusiast machines without the dreaded price gauge of many pre-built setups - the 'Enthusiast PC Build' for Q3 2010!
So what is a custom computer, and how does it differ from a machine at my local retail store? When you purchase an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) machine from a store, the tower is ready to go. There's no construction required bar connecting external peripherals such as the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. This is convenient for most people, but it's often unclear as to what hardware you're really getting under the hood. In fact, there's a good chance that some components are custom made, which restricts future upgrade paths due to non-standard parts. It also makes the prospect of enthusiast tweaking such as overclocking difficult, if not straight out impossible.
This guide will take you through the process of designing a modern performance machine, with focus on which components to look out for. The budget ranges from $1000 to $1500; external peripherals and OS are up to you. Benchmark Reviews wants to pump out the best benchmarks whilst maintaining a healthy budget, join them as they embark on a journey of custom computer design!