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Benchmark Results: Crysis

System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: Value Compared
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Crysis sticks around as a benchmark due to its ability to drag down modern hardware, and some people do still play it.

Unfortunately, entry-level builders will be disappointed even at 1280x1024, though dropping to 720p is always an option.

Overclocking keeps the $2000 system on top in spite of its apparent CPU performance limitation.

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  • 22 Hide
    avatar_raq , September 9, 2010 11:06 AM
    TheCapulet it's just plain unbelievable that the builder didn't do his homework.

    If you read the article thoroughly you would know the reasons behind the CPU choice! And Thomas was honest about the results and he clearly said 'we failed'. Besides it IS nice to see someone try that and inform us so that we don't repeat the same, or similar, mistakes!


    TheCapulet This will be the first month that people sign up hoping to win the 1k machine instead of the 2k.

    Free is always good! For me, I wish I win the $2000 build, simply because the 2 gfx cards alone worth almost as the mid-priced build ($920 vs $1000)!
  • 21 Hide
    stm1185 , September 9, 2010 6:54 AM
    Yeah the $2000 system did not make much sense. Only spending 10% of your build money on the CPU seems wrong. The two GTX480s and Nvidia mobo was bizarre. I guess they felt they had to throw the AMD CPU guys a bone. The lack of a solid state drive in a $2000 build was also odd to me. Which could be explained if your going after raw gaming power, where they did with the dual 480s, but then they gimped it with that AMD cpu. Why pair dual GTX 480s with a Phenom Hexacore; which are subpar for anything that uses 4 threads or less. For the same $2000, I think you would get a much better system with a core i7 950, 6gb of ddr3 1600, a 120gb SSD, and 2 GTX 460 1gb.
  • 16 Hide
    cknobman , September 9, 2010 1:32 PM
    I hope I win the 2000 build!!! Worst high performance build yet on Toms but best situation for whoever wins it.

    Strip out the power hungry 480's and sell them for a grand and buy a 5850 or 460 for 300 bucks.

    Brand new system and $700 in my pocket, what can be better than that!!!!!!!!
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    karma831 , September 9, 2010 6:21 AM
    oops double post...

    Anyways, I didn't really like the builds this SBM but I learned quite a bit. Thanks for the great read.
  • 21 Hide
    stm1185 , September 9, 2010 6:54 AM
    Yeah the $2000 system did not make much sense. Only spending 10% of your build money on the CPU seems wrong. The two GTX480s and Nvidia mobo was bizarre. I guess they felt they had to throw the AMD CPU guys a bone. The lack of a solid state drive in a $2000 build was also odd to me. Which could be explained if your going after raw gaming power, where they did with the dual 480s, but then they gimped it with that AMD cpu. Why pair dual GTX 480s with a Phenom Hexacore; which are subpar for anything that uses 4 threads or less. For the same $2000, I think you would get a much better system with a core i7 950, 6gb of ddr3 1600, a 120gb SSD, and 2 GTX 460 1gb.
  • 5 Hide
    HibyPrime , September 9, 2010 7:09 AM
    I usually skip over the power and efficiency pages of the high-end SBM build, because the power usage is mostly irrelevant for such a high-end build... but when I saw it in the efficiency comparison...

    ONE KILOWATT? seriously!?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , September 9, 2010 7:12 AM
    stm1185For the same $2000, I think you would get a much better system with a core i7 950, 6gb of ddr3 1600, a 120gb SSD, and 2 GTX 460 1gb.
    -1 for the SSD comments since these have always hurt the system's overall score in the benchmark-based value analysis.
  • -5 Hide
    avatar_raq , September 9, 2010 7:13 AM
    One of the odd things encountered in the $2000 build is the results of Dirt2. This game bears the AMD logo, and in one benchmark the intel system scored almost double!! OMG!! AMD guys really need to do something about their CPUs and their relations to game developers.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2010 7:42 AM
    SLI does not seems to work in AMD system or it is throttling.
  • 9 Hide
    Crashman , September 9, 2010 8:13 AM
    MayPSLI does not seems to work in AMD system or it is throttling.
    The CPU is throttling the rest of the system. Most of the benchmarks show a CPU-capped pattern.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2010 8:40 AM
    I'd like to have seen CS5 tests rather than CS4, considering you're using a Win 7 x64 build.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2010 8:56 AM
    "The CPU is throttling the rest of the system. Most of the benchmarks show a CPU-capped pattern."

    There is noway i5 can be twice as fast as x6. Simply no way. Something is wrong. Unless there is an artificial limitation in the SLI board to prevent it running faster than that. Even 5670 is closer to SLI 480. Simply Dirt2 benchmark is wrong. And I sense SLI is not working. Better to try with Cross Fire setup.
  • 22 Hide
    avatar_raq , September 9, 2010 11:06 AM
    TheCapulet it's just plain unbelievable that the builder didn't do his homework.

    If you read the article thoroughly you would know the reasons behind the CPU choice! And Thomas was honest about the results and he clearly said 'we failed'. Besides it IS nice to see someone try that and inform us so that we don't repeat the same, or similar, mistakes!


    TheCapulet This will be the first month that people sign up hoping to win the 1k machine instead of the 2k.

    Free is always good! For me, I wish I win the $2000 build, simply because the 2 gfx cards alone worth almost as the mid-priced build ($920 vs $1000)!
  • 0 Hide
    SpadeM , September 9, 2010 11:31 AM
    I do understand that the staff hears what the community has to say about how the next builds should look like, but really, if you spend money on 2 x 480 and you know beforehand that the performance will be limited by your choice of cpu (since benchmarks of it existed before the build was done)then it's up to you to make that weird combination work. I know, the standard cooling on the mobo wasn't great so NB overclocking was out of the question, but still an after market cooler, a simple fan pointed at the chipset could have made a difference. Just to build a 2000$ system to see it fail isn't being responsible with your money and doesn't make any sense (maybe in the "we told you it would kind of way"). As for the rest, i only have one question ... what were the bios settings for the SpeedStep and C1E on the intel side .. since the x6 had it's C&Q disabled.

    All in all this was the most ... weird .. SBM to date.
    PS: kudos to Paul Henningsen, his build/review takes the cake this round.
  • 6 Hide
    sincreator , September 9, 2010 12:53 PM
    In Dirt 2 I get the same results, and I only have 1 HD5870. My 1090T is clocked at 4.2ghz and I have the NB/HT OC'ed as well. 2x GTX480 should of been alot faster, at least thats what I would of thought. At 1920x1080 and above with anti alising I thought the load was more on the GPU/GPUs. Something seems strange to me. What happens when you use one card? Do the FPS stay the same at 2560x1600 with AA also? I'm just curious, that's all. The FPS didn't even go up when you lowered the resolution. Weird stuff for sure.
  • 2 Hide
    SSBrando , September 9, 2010 1:07 PM
    Why didn't they bump up the Six core Phenom to it's big brother. you get 400 more MHz and an unlocked multiplier. I looked it up on newegg and they could have stayed in the $2000 limit. There's my two cents.
  • 0 Hide
    IWC Member 23495867 , September 9, 2010 1:14 PM
    Can't say that I'm surprised with the results. Thanks again Tom for another SBM!
  • 1 Hide
    Mottamort , September 9, 2010 1:28 PM
    Wow. a few months ago I built a +-$400 equivalent budget-gaming box for someone and I used exactly the same stuff....scary
  • 16 Hide
    cknobman , September 9, 2010 1:32 PM
    I hope I win the 2000 build!!! Worst high performance build yet on Toms but best situation for whoever wins it.

    Strip out the power hungry 480's and sell them for a grand and buy a 5850 or 460 for 300 bucks.

    Brand new system and $700 in my pocket, what can be better than that!!!!!!!!
  • 3 Hide
    Peciura , September 9, 2010 1:43 PM
    THG have test results tat nVidia graphic cards are sensitive to CPU computation power (unlike Radeon). In fact AMD 6 core CPU is of very limited use (if any). General rule is : if you on tight budget buy AMD system if you need high end computer stick to Intel and nVidia.

    It would be very interesting to have a tool to compare any 2-3years old SBM systems among themselves with current newegg prices. This way it would be clear that any SBM system is just part of bigger picture and is not necessarily the best choice for the money.
  • 3 Hide
    Jzcaesar , September 9, 2010 1:43 PM
    Hmm, wow, to think about a month ago I thought all games were GPU limited. This certainly opens my eyes.
  • -5 Hide
    plznote , September 9, 2010 1:54 PM
    cknobmanI hope I win the 2000 build!!! Worst high performance build yet on Toms but best situation for whoever wins it. Strip out the power hungry 480's and sell them for a grand and buy a 5850 or 460 for 300 bucks.Brand new system and $700 in my pocket, what can be better than that!!!!!!!!


    That was a unit line in WarCraft 3!!
  • 5 Hide
    Onus , September 9, 2010 1:59 PM
    This was a very interesting SBM series, with lessons to be learned at each price point. Knowing what NOT to do can be as useful as knowing what TO do. I'd love to win any of them, with these results:
    1. $2K PC: I'd remove and sell the two GPUs (my games don't need them), and add a single GTX460 or HD5850 and a SSD. Would become my primary system.
    2. $1K PC: I'd just add a SSD. Would also become my primary system.
    3. $400 PC: I'd toss the junk PSU and install a 380W Earthwatts, and probably add a quiet after-market CPU HSF. I'd probably swap the GPU for my HD4850, add a second larger HDD, then it would become a Christmas gift for my sister's family.
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