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Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $650 Gaming PC


3DMark 11 does a beautiful job illustrating the shift of balance between our two build strategies. At stock clock rates, the brute strength of AMD's Tahiti GPU dominates the graphics tests by a large-enough margin to hand an overall win to the current PC. That advantage is eclipsed by the fact that we couldn't overclock our 3.3 GHz Core i3 at all, and were limited in what we could do to Tahiti.

PCMark 7 makes it clear that Intel's Core i3 is a step down from the Core i5 in overall performance and productivity, aside from an unexplained improvement in the storage suite favoring today's overclocked PC.

Sandra conveys the drop in arithmetic performance, while Core i3’s lack of AES-NI hardware acceleration is a more profound setback in the Cryptography test.

Both configurations employ DDR3-1600, though with different main memory timings. Our Hyper-Threaded Core i3 build is unable to match the sustained memory bandwidth of last quarter's more enthusiast-friendly hardware.

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