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Results: Audio And Video

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: Our Budget Gaming PC

On paper, both of our gaming PCs sport budget-oriented processors operating at 3.4 GHz, and they're able to address four threads at a time. But the similarities end there; these machines employ distinctly different CPU architectures.

While last quarter’s Haswell-based Core i3 remains fixed at 3.4 GHz, Turbo Core increases the Athlon's cores up to 3.7 or 4.0 GHz in stock form. This quarter's cheaper setup gains further from a manual overclock to 4.2 GHz, a greater DDR3 data rate, and a higher CPU-NB frequency.

Even operating 800 MHz higher, AMD's Piledriver architecture can not compete with Haswell in measures of single-threaded alacrity (like our iTunes and LAME encoding workloads).

While Trinity's two modules (with four integer units) can't match dual-core Haswell's higher IPC throughput, AMD's design fares better in parallelized tasks. Even without any shared L3 cache, this pair of Piledriver modules registers a win in both HandBrake and TotalCode Studio, though only after overclocking to 4.2 GHz.

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