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Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC
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Current $500 PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium G850 (Sandy Bridge), 2.9 GHz, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache, Power-saving features enabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink and FanUnchanged
MotherboardASRock H77 Pro4/MVP, Intel H77 Express, BIOS P1.40 (09-21-2012)Unchanged
RAM8 GB G.Skill DDR-1333 Kit
2 x 4 GB, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.585 V
DDR3-1333, CL 7-8-7-22 1T at 1.6 V
GraphicsPowerColor AX7850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7850
860 MHz GPU, 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s) Memory
1200 MHz GPU @ 1.205 V, 1310 MHz (5240 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD3200AAKX
320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Unchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalLG 24x GH24NS90-OEM DVD Burner
Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 12.10Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v. 9.3.1025Unchanged
August $500 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium G860 (Sandy Bridge), 3.0 GHz, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3, Power-saving features enabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink and FanUnchanged
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B75M-D3V, Intel B75 Express, BIOS F5 (03-27-2012)Unchanged
RAM4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 Kit
2 x 2 GB, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 V
Unchanged
GraphicsMSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560
810 MHz GPU, 1002 MHz (4008 MT/s) Memory
950 MHz GPU @ 1.050 V, 1102.5 MHz (4410 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD5000AAKX
500 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Unchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalSamsung 22x SH-222BB/BEBE-OEM DVD Burner
Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverGeForce R300 Driver v.300.42Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v. 9.3.1019Unchanged
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Version 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11, 90-sec. FRAPS "Going Hunting"
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Elders Scroll V: SkyrimVersion 1.8.151.07, Version 1.6.89.06 (Aug.), 25-Sec. Fraps
Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48 000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 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)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677, 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
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3"
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Best Method, ZIPX
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Entry, Performance, Extreme Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Version: 2012 SP5c-1872, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Display all 151 comments.
Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    willyroc , December 4, 2012 3:26 AM
    Not to mention that the 500GB version of the HDD is only $3 more.
  • 22 Hide
    Crashman , December 4, 2012 3:19 AM
    killerchickens$501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.
    Run Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
  • 21 Hide
    colinstu , December 4, 2012 4:02 AM
    EzioAsI think they'd be better off with a B75 motherboard, 4GB RAM and an i3-3220.


    Exactly. Couldn't've said it better.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    Crashman , December 4, 2012 3:19 AM
    killerchickens$501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.
    Run Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
  • 21 Hide
    willyroc , December 4, 2012 3:24 AM
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.
  • 26 Hide
    willyroc , December 4, 2012 3:26 AM
    Not to mention that the 500GB version of the HDD is only $3 more.
  • 9 Hide
    jerm1027 , December 4, 2012 3:28 AM
    Quote:
    Our best alternative remained the quad-core Phenom II X4 995 Black Edition for $95. But we chose not to revisit this old favorite, figuring that adding a Radeon HD 7850 would have taxed our budget.

    What about the Phenom II 965? It's only $75 at TigerDirect.
  • 21 Hide
    EzioAs , December 4, 2012 3:32 AM
    Quote:
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.


    I think they'd be better off with a B75 motherboard, 4GB RAM and an i3-3220.
  • 4 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 4, 2012 3:54 AM
    I am not very comfortable using windows8 in these benches. Reason : Drivers have not yet matured for win8. I would have waited for the next quarter SBM before using win8.
  • 4 Hide
    kj3639 , December 4, 2012 3:57 AM
    Well done! I built a $700 rig for a friend a few weeks ago. Parts were mostly identical except for a Corei5 3330, 2 GB 7850 and 120 GB SSD. The 7850 is by far the most bang for the buck and overclocks quite well. I recently bought two for a crossfire setup on my rig for $300 dollars on black friday as well. The 7850 was a solid choice.
  • 21 Hide
    colinstu , December 4, 2012 4:02 AM
    EzioAsI think they'd be better off with a B75 motherboard, 4GB RAM and an i3-3220.


    Exactly. Couldn't've said it better.
  • 0 Hide
    aznshinobi , December 4, 2012 4:03 AM
    The FX-6300 doesn't get any love?
  • 16 Hide
    blazorthon , December 4, 2012 4:17 AM
    aznshinobiThe FX-6300 doesn't get any love?


    It's too expensive.

    killerchickensSo guys you would buy Windows 8 Professional for a $500 gaming computer.


    This was a hardware test. You're OS complaints are irrelevant and there's no practical difference between Home and Pro versions when it comes to simple performance tests. such as these.
  • 10 Hide
    blazorthon , December 4, 2012 4:18 AM
    killerchickensWindows is free and we use Linux in are gaming Machines what are we in Soviet Russia .


    Several Linux distros works pretty well with most modern popular games, just FYI. Also, getting Windows for free legally is easy if you care to do it. Dreamspark has many free versions available to college students and most people know at least one, even if by proxy. Even in the unlikelihood of not knowing any, there's still the eval copies that MS gives away for free on their own website.
  • 12 Hide
    blazorthon , December 4, 2012 4:19 AM
    mayankleoboy1I am not very comfortable using windows8 in these benches. Reason : Drivers have not yet matured for win8. I would have waited for the next quarter SBM before using win8.


    I disagree. The current drivers for Windows 8 are pretty much on-par with the Windows 7 drivers. Heck, they're better than AMD's pre-Catalyst 12.6 drivers.
  • 7 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 4, 2012 4:22 AM
    was hoping to see a piledriver based cpu in this quarter's build. but i was much happier to see the 1gb radeon 7850 instead. nice gaming build.
  • -4 Hide
    blazorthon , December 4, 2012 4:23 AM
    Quote:
    was hoping to see a piledriver based cpu in this quarter's build. but i was much happier to see the 1gb radeon 7850 instead. nice gaming build.


    Meh, I would've preferred seeing at least an A8-5600K with a cheaper motherboard and memory kit or keep the same memory kit and get a cheaper case. It could have fit, IDK why Tom's didn't do it. Maybe there weren't good prices on other components at the time :/ 
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