Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

O/C Marathon Day 4 - Bangs and Bucks

Last response: in Overclocking
Share
July 20, 2007 12:19:29 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/07/20/overclocking_marathon_day_4/index.html

Now that we've tested them, it's time to compare our three overclocked systems. How does performance stack up when compared to price?
July 20, 2007 2:38:11 PM

good stuff, nice end:

"It would be easy to find more enjoyable ways to spend the left-over cash."
July 20, 2007 3:02:47 PM

I'm continuously trying to convince my friends to see what this article shows. but it gets even better:

Lets say you actually have 5 grand to spend on a computer and want to buy one.
You could buy the budget system for 1K, then 18 months later buy another 1K budget system except this time it will be more powerful that the original and probably similarly powered to the 5K machine you could have bought 18 months ago. Only now you have a NEW computer and not an aging one, and in 18 more months from that you can buy yet another 1K computer that will most certainly outperform the 5K computer at this point.

So 36 months from now you have a brand new great budget gaming system and have saved several thousand dollars or you can have a 3 year old computer and spent more and be looking to buy another 5K computer.
Related resources
July 20, 2007 3:20:19 PM

true... but think of it this way: A modern subaru WRX outperforms say, a 1973 bmw 2002 turbo. It will run circles around it when the 2002 was a beast for performance in its day. At the time the 2002 was a much sought after ride that carried some prestige with it.

Sure, you could have just bought a budget car every few years and after a purchase or two the new budget one would outperform the 2002... but that wrx I mentioned will never hold the same allure. Even 30+ years later that classic carries some weight though it is vastly out of its league in performance.

Not saying the Dell in this test will last 30 years by any means... just saying there is the "swank-factor" that some find worth the cost.
July 20, 2007 3:56:47 PM

Exactly.

To further the automotive analogy, you could by a nice new Shelby Mustang GT 500 KR in the $50,000 range, or a Ferrari 430 Scuderia in the $200,000 range.

Both will get you through a quarter mile under 13 seconds. The Ferrari might only be a second or so faster, so it's sure as hell not a good 'value' compared to the Mustang...

...but then again, if you have the cash, it sure is nice to drive a Ferrari.
July 20, 2007 4:24:39 PM

The problem with the automotive anaolgy is that cars - especially collecters or "high end" cars normally hold good value over the long run. Heck some Ferraris and other exotics actually appreciate in value.

The same can't be said for ANY high end gaming machine. It doesn't matter if it's BEYOND bleeding-edge today. In 5 years, every single component could be purchased for $5 on Ebay. Maybe not 5, but close to it. The "allure" of owining a $5K rig is only good for the few months it's actually "worth" 5K.
July 20, 2007 4:33:48 PM

Regardless of analogy, I think the point is pretty obvious though: if you have money to burn, it's nifty to have some uber-high end kit.

Nobody really needs that kind of system. But that doesn't mean it's not worth it to someone who chooses to buy it for whatever reason.
July 20, 2007 4:35:59 PM

^^ True. I'm just glad that for about $1000, I can know that my money is well spent.
July 20, 2007 5:03:54 PM

hockyis1 said:
The problem with the automotive anaolgy is that cars - especially collecters or "high end" cars normally hold good value over the long run. Heck some Ferraris and other exotics actually appreciate in value.

The same can't be said for ANY high end gaming machine. It doesn't matter if it's BEYOND bleeding-edge today. In 5 years, every single component could be purchased for $5 on Ebay. Maybe not 5, but close to it. The "allure" of owining a $5K rig is only good for the few months it's actually "worth" 5K.


you are correct. I appreciate the ferrari/mustang comparrison... I mentioned the 2002 turbo only b/c it still "only" averages under $10k (US) to buy it now. Many can be had for much less. In the current world of autos that is pretty cheap. (especially when you consider a 1970 mustang boss429 is worth considerably more than that bmw from the same era... to the tune of ~$160k and the shelbyGT500 of that era is about as rare and even more expensive. mmm... shelby :love:  )

True though... that Dell will depreciate like a rock after about 6 months. Of course, in 30 years who knows... maybe that Dell will be a classic too and sell for the same price it was purchased for? lol.
a b K Overclocking
July 20, 2007 10:25:53 PM

I prefer the 1969 grille, but the Boss 429 was a beast to drive. In fact several automotive writers were afraid to push the thing. So now it's become one of those "mythical beast" that not many people actually want to own and drive, but the few who do are willing to pay huge dollars to get one. Your beamer holds a broader alure.

Then again so do whimpy cars like the TR3.
July 21, 2007 1:20:28 AM

I wouldn't say this review worth enough to be noticed by true enthusiasts, or even by heavy-gamers. While I do agree that THG's configuration will bring higher performance when playing games from the past, its simply not a good indication of "high performance" when put up against current and upcoming games.

More and more games utilize the advantage of multi-core, and it has been known that resources intensive games such as Supreme Commander will heavily utilize multi-core.

It is disappointing to see that THG only uses games from the past, but not from the future, to evaluate their "uber-high performance" machine. If THG uses Supreme Commander, and other upcoming games as performance benchmarks, there is no way it can outperforms Dell's XPS H2C.

EDIT: Aside from that, THG also fails to provide the correct specification for Dell's XPS H2C machine. A QX6800 does not have FSB of 1066 when overclocked to 3.79Ghz (THG). This will create a false sense among readers, that THG chose a processor with higher FSB.

It has quite disappointing to see THG turned from a very reputable hardware review site, to a website that can't even get the simple specifications right. Change of ownership does not mean absolute slack offs. I would certainly hope THG addresses this lack of accuracy in their journals.
a b K Overclocking
July 21, 2007 4:41:18 AM

So you think that these new games support four-cores? Because dual-core games have been around for a while, and I haven't seen any news of games that support four cores.
July 21, 2007 5:55:04 AM

right, according to valve the newest source (ep: 2) will be true multi-core (use as many as it can find) versus dual-core like so many current (more than 2 gains nothing)

Quake4 I believe is multi-core with the current patches. Unsure of Supreme Commander but I think it is dual core.
July 21, 2007 6:10:34 AM

Nice system but the cost is more like 7500 bucks once you add all the bells and whistles. Could easily build an almost identical system for about 1500 to 2000 dollars less. I really cant see them selling to many of these things. Most enthusiasts are smart enough to build their own machines, and know enough not to buy their hardware through Dell. Nice build though.
July 21, 2007 9:10:08 AM

Crashman said:
So you think that these new games support four-cores? Because dual-core games have been around for a while, and I haven't seen any news of games that support four cores.

There are actually quite a lot of games that will see substantial gain on multi-core platforms. The most well-known engines such as Unreal3, and very likely, Crysis too.
July 21, 2007 9:13:54 AM

NobodyImportant said:
Nice system but the cost is more like 7500 bucks once you add all the bells and whistles. Could easily build an almost identical system for about 1500 to 2000 dollars less. I really cant see them selling to many of these things. Most enthusiasts are smart enough to build their own machines, and know enough not to buy their hardware through Dell. Nice build though.


Talk about price inflation...

A 500Gb 7200RPM 16Mb HDD costs 300 bucks on Dell. I can get the exact same one, for about 80 bucks. That's about a little more than a quarter of Dell's price. The same thing goes with RAM, GFX (who needs 8800Ultra when you can get 8800GTX SC for cheap), and CPUs.
July 21, 2007 10:52:04 PM

I think you are looking at the problem from a wrong angle, guys.

Most people (me included) do not want to replace their current software with something newer unless they absolutely have to, which means that when they need to change software it is also usually time to upgrade the hardware too.

Consequently, you should always buy your PC based on the software you need it to run NOW. You can never plan for future with computers. If your games or applications run to your satisfaction on a mid-range computer, there is no sense in buying something better, if you need the latest high-end PC to run your software smoothly, to work more productively or to enjoy your games better, go for it and stuff the cost.


July 23, 2007 5:35:21 AM

NobodyImportant said:
Nice system but the cost is more like 7500 bucks once you add all the bells and whistles. Could easily build an almost identical system for about 1500 to 2000 dollars less. I really cant see them selling to many of these things. Most enthusiasts are smart enough to build their own machines, and know enough not to buy their hardware through Dell. Nice build though.



well sure they wont sell many, that is why the cost is up there. Basic supply/demand "free" market. They charge what ppl pay. That system plays in the same park as VoodooPC and FalconNW. Not high-volume players but all about quality, service and "out of box" experience... and the prestige of the name that carries all of that.

Not saying Dell really has all of that with this system, but that is the league they are pricing it in.
July 23, 2007 9:21:19 AM

Interesting. I live in Switzerland, where components are quite cheap and am about to upgrade my PC.

Potentials are:
High end = $3,280 ($2,570 without * items)

Asus P5N32-E SLI nVidia Nforce 680 SLI - MoBo
INTEL Core 2 Quad Q6600 "Kentsfield", 4x 2.40GHz - CPU
KINGSTON HyperX 2048MB, PC2-1066, CL5-5-5-15 - RAM
2x ASUS Extreme 8800GTX, 768MB GDDR3(1800Mhz) SLI Mode
*COOLERMASTER RC-830 Stacker 830 Evolution - Case
*ZALMAN ZM600-HP, 600 Watts - PSU
*ZALMAN Reserator 1 Plus - Water cooling fro CPU and GPU's

OR

Budgetish = $2,170 ($1,460 without * items)

Asus P5N32-E SLI nVidia Nforce 680 SLI - MoBo
INTEL Core 2 Duo "Conroe" E6420, 2x 2.13GHz - CPU
KINGSTON HyperX 2048MB, PC2-1066, CL5-5-5-15 - RAM
1x ASUS Extreme 8800GTS, 640MB GDDR3(1600Mhz)
*COOLERMASTER RC-830 Stacker 830 Evolution - Case
*ZALMAN ZM600-HP, 600 Watts - PSU
*ZALMAN Reserator 1 Plus - Water cooling fro CPU and GPU

* I have included these for total pricing purposes. In my case I already have them, so subtract $710 if your basic components are adequate for the component upgrades.


I think that both these systems are excellent and a lot cheaper than some of the stuff that you have been talking about. I could have made the high-end a little higher with some Corsair Dominator memory, but I really do not see the upside. I have also chosen Water cooling and the Zalman PSU for the quiet running and stability in overclocking temperatures..

I think that I am going to go for the more budget system. As commented on in this article, the upside performace for the cost increase is just not worth it. The important thing is to have a good motherboard that is upgradeable. The Asus P5N32 is awesome.

At a later stage I could add an 8800 GTS in SLI and up the CPU and the RAM, but for existing games, and I play the extreme graphics ones on a 30" monitor, a single 8800GTS is already ample to crank the resolution specs up.
July 23, 2007 9:55:08 AM

Hmmm, I would have thought that this article would be available on the .co.uk site as well as the .com/us site. Day 3 isn't yet available either!

Come on THG! Get your act together.
July 23, 2007 10:02:29 AM

After reading a few more of the discussions I decided to waste some time building, the ultimate machine that I could, to compare to Dell.

Here it is:

I do not think that I could add much more. Price = $6,300

COOLERMASTER RC-830 Stacker 830 Evolution, Black - Case
ENERMAX Galaxy EGA-1000 EWL, 1000 Watts
ASUS Striker Extreme, nForce 680i SLI - MoBo
INTEL Core 2 Extreme QX6700 "Kentsfield", 4x 2.66GHz
CORSAIR TWIN3X2048-1066C7, 4GB, DDR3 1066/8500, CL7-7-7-20
2x EVGA Ultra BlackPearl, GeForce 8800 Ultra, 768MB GDDR3(2300Mhz) SLI mode
ASUS PhysX P1, Ageia PhysX, 128MB
CREATIVE Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer
SEAGATE Barracuda ES.2 ST31000340NS, 1.0TB, 7200rpm
PLEXTOR PX-810SA, DVD±RW, Black
(18x/18x/8x/6x DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW,
10x/10x DVD DL+R/-R, 12x DVD-RAM,
16x DVD-ROM,
40x/32x/40x CD-R/-RW/-ROM)

LG ELECTRONICS GSA-H62N, DVD±RW/RAM, Black
LOGITECH Cordless Desktop MX 5000 Laser - Keyboard + Mouse
MICROSOFT Windows Vista Home Premium (64Bit), English (DVD)

You do not get much better than that and I am still sub $6,500 including a $70 provision in the $6,300 price for sundries(Cables, Screws, etc.). Some of the components that I have chosen are far superior to what Dell is offering(Case, PSU, motherboard, RAM, Graphics cards, Keyboard + mouse are all at higher spec.).
a b K Overclocking
July 23, 2007 11:30:40 AM

Wow, so you're saying the Dell is a better deal? I mean, the Dell comes with a QX6800 and two Raptors (plus a 500GB storage drive). That's over $200 in stuff!
July 24, 2007 10:15:43 AM

Hi Crashman, I was just on the Dell site. Despite the article, they are not offering the QX6800, yet.

Given your comment I concluded that I had not been thorough and that I may have missed something and so I went to re-test the Dell config at the top end. I closely matched the config that I have just outlined above. I got as close as I could and the price is $6,807 before tax and delivery. Add 3% tax(Generous) and you get to $7,011.21. I lowered my system to match Dell's H2C offering....my system = $6,200 all in.

That's $811 less, and I still have a better case and motherboard(Note that I now matched the Dominator memory and I discounted that the graphics cards that I chose deliver better speed). You should also note that I am not using US prices for my components. I am sure that I could shave $150 - $250+ off my price if I did. Did I miss something? Seriously.
July 24, 2007 10:21:34 AM

Crashman said:
So you think that these new games support four-cores? Because dual-core games have been around for a while, and I haven't seen any news of games that support four cores.


...and I fully agree with that. Game writers have only been writing games for dual core machines and Ageia loaded systems for a little while. Why buy a "false" quad-core now? I say false because these quads are actually twin dual cores. The important difference with a real quad-core has to do with the way that these processors access memory.
a b K Overclocking
July 24, 2007 10:57:58 AM

Dell might have DROPPED the QX6800, yes it was on their site. It's not a regular production part however, Intel only released them in small quantities and Dell might have depleted its allocation.
July 24, 2007 11:33:46 PM

These systems cater to two different groups of people. The Econoperformer is good for those that tinker with computers. The Dell is for those that want the best and don't have time or inclination to build or repair the system. Also note that there's a lot to be said for Dell's warranty services.
July 25, 2007 11:32:21 AM

photographer said:
These systems cater to two different groups of people. The Econoperformer is good for those that tinker with computers. The Dell is for those that want the best and don't have time or inclination to build or repair the system. Also note that there's a lot to be said for Dell's warranty services.


True
July 30, 2007 3:19:24 AM

Crashman said:
So you think that these new games support four-cores? Because dual-core games have been around for a while, and I haven't seen any news of games that support four cores.
THG might want to consider adding one game to their testing "stable" for Multi-core testing: Microsoft's Flight Simulator X (FSX) supports any number of multiple core machines once the SP1 patch has been applied. The program is CPU-bound rather than graphics card-bound, and so would give the multi-core machines a good workout independent of the graphics board being used. The FSX devs promise that the SP1 patch will take advantage of any number of cores and so would still be valid if/when an octo-core processor appears. :sol: 
!