Portable Gaming PCs For Any Price Point

June 13, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Desktops, Gaming

Here are some computers you can spend your money on: Tom’s Hardware recently concluded their May System Builder Marathon, a monthly feature that focuses on creating desktops at various price points following a certain theme. May’s SBM feature was particularly interesting, as it focused on creating portable gaming desktops perfect for LAN parties.

The Sugo SG01-BF. Courtesy SilverStone

The Sugo SG01-BF. Courtesy SilverStone

Tom’s set out to create three different PCs, within budgets of $600, $1300, and $2500 respectively. Luckily—if you’re based in the US—you can buy the parts they used from NewEgg:

~$600 PC ~$1,300 PC ~$2,500 PC
CPU Intel Pentium E5200 Intel Core i7 920 Intel Core i7 920
CPU Cooler Stock (What comes with the E2500) XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler Stock (What comes with the i7 920)
Motherboard ASRock G41M-LE DFI LANPARTY JR X58-T3H6 DFI LANPARTY JR X58-T3H6
Memory G.Skill F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK DDR2-800 4.0 GB (2.0 GB x2) G.Skill 10666CL7T-6GBPK DDR3-1333 6.0 GB (2 GB x3) Mushkin 998679 DDR3-1600 6.0 GB (2.0 GB x3)
Graphics XFX GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 GX260NADFF Two BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 BFGEGTX260896OCE Two EVGA GeForce GTX 295 017-P3-1294-AR
Hard Drive Seagate 7200.12 500GB Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB Two Western Digital RE3 500GB
Case SILVERSTONE Sugo SG01-BF SILVERSTONE TJ08-B SILVERSTONE SG04B-H
Power Supply OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
Optical Drive LITE-ON iHAP322-08 DVD Burner LITE-ON iHAP422-08 DVD Burner w/ Lightscribe LG GGW-H20L Blu-Ray Burner/HD-DVD ROM
Total $648 $1248.50 $2545

As the emphasis is on gaming performance and portability Tom’s made the wise choice to rely on the motherboards’ integrated sound cards and ethernet cards, instead of spending for dedicated ones. The total prices of each setup are current as of this writing, and are unfortunately subject to the vagaries of price fluctuations (which is why the $600 machine totals $648).

In any case, I totally recommend the ~$600 desktop, even at its slightly higher price. Aside from having the smallest profile (the PC’s shoebox-sized, meaning you’ll have more trouble carrying around your display and peripherals), Tom’s tests marked it as a clear efficiency winner, providing the most gaming performance for money spent.

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