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Overall Performance And Efficiency

System Builder Marathon Q1 2014: System Value Compared

Christopher Ryan, our storage expert, might be able to show you the performance difference between my machine's 256 GB SSD and the $1600 machine’s 120 GB device, PCMark’s productivity, content creation, and gaming traces do not. Then again, load times are also affected by the number of CPU cycles it takes to load these apps into RAM. Both machines score 85% higher than the hard drive-equipped $750 PC.

Gamers will be more interested in the ~18% difference between a single GeForce GTX 780 Ti and dual GeForce GTX 780s. But those are averages. Several benchmarks are bottlenecked at our lower test settings, so we need to address higher resolutions separately.

Nothing short of a perpetual motion machine could be more than 100% efficient, so our efficiency chart is zeroed out by subtracting one (100%) from its performance/efficiency calculations.

Remembering how miserly the $750 PC appeared in our power charts, its loss in average efficiency is a surprise. The $1600 PC had some minor configuration issues, so its efficiency win is also surprising. In the end, Don's build gets there by performing up to 85% better than the $750 machine, while using less than 74% more power.

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