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Test System And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC
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Since the current and previous $1000 System Builder Marathon PCs use the same CPU and clock rates, we don’t expect to see much difference in many of the processor-bound tests in our suite. The newer system does have a slightly-faster hard drive, but last quarter's system included lower-latency memory.

We will, however, see some differences between the firmware-unlocked Radeon HD 6950 and this quarter's pair of Radeon HD 6850 cards in CrossFire. Will the dual-card configuration rule the roost, or can the Radeon HD 6950’s 2 GB of memory even the odds at high resolutions with anti-aliasing applied?

Current $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardMSI P67A-G43
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache
4500 MHz at 1.4 V
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-22-1T
Unchanged
Graphics2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850
  1 GB GDDR5 @ 1050 MHz
GPU @ 820 MHz
GDDR5 @ 1100 MHz
GPU @ 875 MHz
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLG GH22MS70
22x DVD Burner
Unchanged
CaseXclio Nighthawk
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
Unchanged
March 2011 $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache
4400 MHz at 1.4 V
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-20-1T
Unchanged
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950
  2 GB GDDR5 @ 1250 MHz
1408-shader Cayman GPU @ 800 MHz
GDDR5 @ 1300 MHz
GPU modded to 1536 shaders @ 880 MHz
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB
1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST
24x DVD Burner
Unchanged
CaseIn-Win Android
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
Unchanged


And here's the list of benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
Metro 2033
Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF
Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Just Cause 2
In-game benchmark: Concrete Jungle
Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
F1 2010
V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes
Version 9.0.3.15 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
Lame MP3
Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLI
Version 0.94: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference
Version: 2.0.0.1555: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZIPVersion 14.0 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.0 Beta 4: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.2: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY Finereader
Version 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.1.17.15, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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