So many of our tests are either single-threaded or scale modestly on multi-core processors that SiSoftware's Sandra diagnostic is needed just to demonstrate the potential of high-end CPUs with advanced ISA extensions that aren't yet exploited in real-world apps.
Although transcoding and productivity apps do help justify the purchase of six-core CPUs like my Core i7-3930K, in reality, you'd expect to find that chip in a workstation, rather than a desktop.
We knew that the $2000 PC would demonstrate phenomenal leadership in Sandra's Arithmetic and Multimedia modules, but we hadn't considered just how far Paul's $500 build would appear on the ladder. It's more than 50% slower than Don's setup, so we're almost scared to think how it'll compare when it comes time to discuss value.
A quad-channel memory controller looks impressive when you measure out the throughput available to Intel's Sandy Bridge-E architecture. Might my $2000 build even get a small advantage in the real-world tests as a result?
We’re also hoping that the $500 PC’s mediocre memory bandwidth can help it achieve at least 50% of the $1000 PC’s performance, if only to make our value comparison more interesting.
- Chasing Down Diminishing Returns
- Test System Configurations, With Overclocks
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power And Efficiency
- Breaking Down The Value Chart