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Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: Our Budget Gaming PC

3DMark Professional Edition

We start out on shaky ground as 3DMark's Fire Strike test smacks us with the reality of just how much graphics muscle we gave up trying to hit a lower price target. Dropping from a GeForce GTX 770 to a Radeon R7 265 that costs half as much will no doubt limit what today's machine can do in our high-resolution game tests.

It’s at least somewhat promising to see how well two Piledriver modules stripped of L3 cache compete in the Physics test, especially once they're overclocked. I was able to coax a respectable 4.2 GHz from the Athlon X4 with a small voltage increase. Meanwhile, last quarter’s Gaming PC sported a Haswell-based Core i3 limited to 3.4 GHz. It enjoyed the benefit of Hyper-Threading, but was still a dual-core chip.

PCMark 8

Our more budget-friendly AMD platform only trails by about 10% in PCMark 8’s Work suite, suggesting that the Trinity architecture offers respectable value specifically in threaded workloads.

Not surprisingly, the same WD Blue hard drive earns a similar Storage score from one build to the next.

SiSoftware Sandra

Averaging arithmetic metrics in SiSoftware Sandra 2014 places the current Athlon X4 750K about 31% slower than last quarter's configuration, but just 18% behind once we overclock.

Intel's Core i3 does enjoy greater gains from AES-NI support. The outcome of that test is directly tied to memory bandwidth, and Haswell's integrated memory controller realizes more throughput from a dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory kit.

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