Our Build-A-Rig project is a place where PC hardware manufacturers (memory companies, case companies, GPU, CPU, power supply, storage et al.) are given an imaginary budget and a rough guideline on what system they should build fo that budget. Then we at AnandTech, with our partners Newegg, get the components in, build the system, interview the person that provided the spec list, give a run down of the components, test the system and then offer it as a giveaway to our readers.

This iteration was our second round, featuring Tony Ou from SilverStone Technology and Jeremy Mortenson from Cruicial Memory. The goal for this round was a Back-to-School build for $800. Both systems focused on different areas of CPU power, GPU grunt, storage and form factor.

Follow these links to read the interviews with Tony and Jeremy, as well as the component rundowns for SilverStone's Mighty Milo build and Crucial's Ballistix Bantam. We then built both the SilverStone and Crucial machines, then gave them a good run down in our test suite.

A full run down of both systems is as follows:

Build-A-Rig Round 2 Comparison
Component SilverStone's
Mighty Milo
Crucial's
Ballistix Bantam
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium G3258
(2C/2T, 3.2 GHz)
Intel Core i3-4170
(2C/4T, 3.7 GHz)
Motherboard ASRock
H97M-ITX/ac
GIGABYTE
B85N Phoenix-WiFi
Graphics Cards (GPU) Zotac GeForce GTX 960 OC EVGA GeForce GTX 950
Memory (DRAM) Crucial Ballistix Sport XT
2x4GB DDR3-1600 C9
Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer
2x4GB DDR3-1600 C8
Storage (SSD) Crucial BX100 120GB Crucial MX200 mSATA 250GB
Storage (HDD) Western Digital Blue 2.5-inch
1TB 5400RPM 8MB Cache
 
Seagate Barracuda 3.5-inch
1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache
Power Supply (PSU) SilverStone ST45SF
450W Bronze SFF
Thermaltake TR2
600W
Chassis SilverStone Milo ML08B-H
(with handle)
Thermaltake Core V1
Extreme Cube
CPU Cooling SilverStone Argon AR06 None
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home
64-bit OEM
Microsoft Windows 8.1
64-bit - OEM
Extras None LG USB 2.0 Portable DVDRW
Total $811.90 $793.90

After sifting through the entries of what has been another successful round for our Build-A-Rig project, we are ready to announce the winners. This time around each of our winners is receiving one of the two systems. The winners are as follows:

Both winners will be contacted shortly for their shipping details at the email address provided.

Build-A-Rig Round 3 is currently on hold due to external factors beyond our control, but we have plenty of ideas in the running when we're ready to get going again. Congratulations to our two winners, and thanks to all who participated.

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  • freeskier93 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    What about it? I'd sooner slit my wrists then use wifi on a desktop. Reply
  • iLovefloss - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    Not everyone has access to an ethernet cable, and the Internet is kind of important. I don't know if you ever been on a college campus in the 21st Century, but you can't exactly hook your shit up into modem. Hell, getting to a electrical socket can be a pain in the ass. Remember, these builds aren't necessarily for you; they're for college (or high-school) students. WiFi is important! Reply
  • freeskier93 - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    I've lived in 100 year old dorm rooms that had wired Ethernet and currently live in a modern campus apartment where each room is wired for Ethernet. Reply
  • iLovefloss - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Also, you forgot to include the Windows tax! With that, your build would be more than a $100 overpriced. The OS, a Windows OS, is a pretty important part of any semi-gaming machine. Reply
  • wolfemane - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    If we take into account that this is a BACK TO SCHOOL computer, students can get a copy of win10 education for free. MS will ship a disk to you for $1.99 I think, or you can create a USB boot stick from another computer. Its a pretty feature rich OS, good for students. Reply
  • freeskier93 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    As I said in my very first sentence, students can easily get a hold of Windows for free. Reply
  • iLovefloss - Saturday, December 5, 2015 - link

    Not every college -- and definitely few high-schools -- is going to have the required license for free Windows. That's why the original builds bought the license separately. Look at Leopard_Jumps' builds for something that's done nearly right (still missing the WiFi). Reply
  • wolfemane - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    Has absolutely nothing to do with the schools. its all MS. Go to website, signup as a student, d/l or order windows 10 education version on usb. Reply
  • leopard_jumps - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    With Skylake

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/w4N8D3
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/w4N8D3/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: MSI Z170A PC MATE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 960 4GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Enermax ECA3253-BW ATX Mid Tower Case ($40.00 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($55.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $688.93
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-04 16:04 EST-0500
    Reply
  • leopard_jumps - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    XFX 550W from New egg is expensive . From newegg EVGA 500B is not costly but XFX TS 550W is of better quality . Of course there are many other Reply

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