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Test Systems And Benchmark Configurations

AVADirect’s Mini Cube Gaming PC: Good Looks, Price, And Performance
Test Hardware Configurations
 AVADirect Mini Gaming PCLenovo Erazer X700ASRock M8 $1535 BuildSBM $2550 Performance PC
Intel Core i7-4770K
3.5 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.20 GHz, 1.15-1.25 V
Intel Core i7-3930K
3.2 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 3.90 GHz, 1.41 V
Intel Core i7-4770K
3.5 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.10 GHz, 1.08 V
Intel Core i7-3930K
3.20 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 4.20 GHz, 1.25 V
Asus GeForce GTX 780: 889-941 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-6008AMD Radeon HD 8950: 925 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000EVGA GeForce GTX 760: 980-1033 MHz GPU, GDDR5-6008 O/C to 1200 MHz GDDR5-72003 x EVGA GeForce GTX-760: 980-1033 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-6008 O/C to 1130 MHz GDDR5-6680
16 GB  Kingston DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-27, 1.50 V16 GB Hyundai DDR3-1600 CAS 11-11-11-28, 1.50 V8 GB  Kingston DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-24, O/C to DDR3-1600 8-9-8-21, 1.50 V16 GB Mushkin DDR3-1600
CAS 9-9-9-24, Not Overclockable
MSI Z87I: mini-ITX, LGA 1150 Intel Z87 Express, Stock 100 MHz BCLKLenovo 10122: microATX, LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Stock 100 MHz BCLKASRock Z87 M8: mini-ITX, LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express, Stock 100 MHz BCLKASRock X79 Extreme6: ATX, LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Stock 100 MHz BCLK
OpticalLG BH16NS40: 16x BDR / DVD±RPLDS DH12B2SH 12x BDR 16x DVD±RLite-On DC-8A2SH 8x DVDRW
Pioneer BDR-2208: 15x BD-R
CaseLian Li PC-Q28BLenovo X7 series Mid TowerASRock M8
Lian Li PC-9NA
CPU CoolerCooler Master Seidon 120MAsetek 120 x 38 mm Closed Loop Liquid CoolerXigmatek CAC-EXAI6-U01
With Noctua NF-F12 Fan
Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 
Hard Drive2 x Kingston HyperX 3K
120 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD
Samsung 830 MZ7PC128HAFU
128 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD
Samsung MZ-7PD256BW: 256 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDMushkin Chronos Deluxe DX 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerSeasonic SS-760XP2: 760 W Modular, ATX12V v2.3, 80 PLUS PlatinumAcBel FS8003: 625 W, 80 PLUS GoldFSP450-60GHS(85)-R: 450 W, SFX, 80 PLUS BronzeCorsair HX850: 850 W Modular, ATX12V v2.3, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 331.65AMD Catalyst 13.9Nvidia GeForce 320.49 WHQLNvidia GeForce 326.80 Beta
ChipsetIntel INF INF INF INF

It's been a long time since we had perfect systems to compare against each other. So, I chose a trio of machines to represent the spectrum of comparison points. Our recent $2550 System Builder Marathon configuration comes closest to AVADirect’s price, the ASRock M8-based setup is closest to its size, and Lenovo's Erazer X700 is the only factory-built model with data points in the same set of benchmarks.

Though Nvidia's graphics cards also support Surround mode, StarTech's MDP2DVID DisplayPort-to-dual-link DVI adapter gives us the flexibility of even higher resolutions in the future, without the need to buy new displays. The adapter also enables 3D Surround mode with our current 5760x1080 configuration.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Second Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
F1 2012Steam Version, In-Game Test
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25-Second Fraps
Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled
Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-Second Fraps "Amanaki Outpost"
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version x64: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CS6Version, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minute, 22 Seconds
Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat 11Version Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.67b, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.3, Benchmark Only
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2013.10.19.50, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Cryptography, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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