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Benchmark Results: DiRT 3

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: System Value Compared

Who would have thought that a racing game would be the first real-world application to prove the performance worth of a six-core CPU? We can’t think of any other reason why our $2000 PC would carve out such a large lead in its High quality preset, other than the added memory bandwidth of the Sandy Bridge-E-based chip's quad-channel controller.

Lending further credence to our theory is the $500 PC’s flat performance across all of its tested resolutions.

Just as I was starting to get a little excited about my $2000 PC's gaming performance, its lead tapered off. What I eventually figured out, after several overclocking tests, was that hitting higher memory frequencies helped improve performance at lower resolutions and the Ultra quality preset.

The $500 PC survives, exceeding our hopes that it would produce at least 50% of the $1000 PC’s performance.

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