What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?
Updated March 9th, 2014:
Along with the PCPer HWLB its self, you can also head to the PCPer Hardware Leaderboard forum! This forum is where you can discuss my selections and offer your own suggestions. It is also the place for you to talk about the new system build you are working on even if it's NOT based on anything here.
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Our Dream System now features Intel's current ultimate CPU, the six core i7-4960X for a mere $1050. The motherboard has been updated to the EVGA X79 DARK which Ryan used in his review and which has an impressive list of qualifications. This also means you can have 16GB of quad-channel DDR3-2400 from Mushkin, and a full terabyte of SSD storage thanks to the brilliant pricing on the Samsung 840 EVO. For graphics it is the brand new GK110 based EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked model with the highest frequencies available. Corsair AX1200 PSU's seem to have disappeared but that just gives a chance for the XFX ProSeries 1250W Modular PSU to show off its capabilities.
The alternative Dream System is on hold until another Dual LGA2011 board becomes available.
The new High End system has been updated with Haswell, an i7-4770K is now housed in the ASUS Z87-EXPERT which is not only a powerful motherboard it will allow you to experiment with Thunderbolt. The storage subsystem is once again provided by a Samsung 840 SSD but you may want to pick it up quickly as it could disappear again at any time. The price of R9 290s right now are insane but a heavily overclocked MSI Lightning GeForce GTX 770 is a perfect alternative. At this point a discreet soundcard is a personal choice but if you are so inclined the ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 can be purchased, otherwise knock $57 off the price.
Our Mid-Range System has moved to Haswell, with the unlocked i5-4670K on MSI's Z87-G43 which is both versatile and inexpensive. The MSI Gaming N760 TF OC GeForce GTX 760 will give better performance than less expensive MSI 7950 which is also a great choice. The Samsung 840 EVO is a great price for a 250GB model. This month your 8GB of DDR3-1600 comes from G.SKILL thanks to both tight timings and a great price. Corsair's solid Builder Series 500W PSU is on special and should support the new Haswell sleep states perfectly.
AMD has just release Kaveri and the new A10-7700K is the least expensive model available right now. Skipping the graphics card altogether makes even more sense than with Richland but if you want to try Hybrid Crossfire then you are looking at an R7-240 or R7-250. The new processor supports PCIe 3.0 which makes the Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H a great choice as it offers both a good price and impressive versatility. 4GB of 1866MHz RAM from G.SKILL and a Builder Series PSU on special at $31 after MIR are both great for this system.
Once you have all your components you can always reference Ryan's videos covering the installation of the parts into the case as well as installing your OS and Steam so you can get right to gaming and surfing.
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