This time around, our goal was to balance the platform with the graphics subsystem in order to create a better machine, overall. In contrast, last time we dedicated a majority of our budget to a dual graphics card configuration. How did things turn out?
The results are a little surprising. Even when overclocked and with all four processing cores enabled, the previous build could not reach the average stock performance of a Core i5-750 processor.
What’s really caught us off guard were the gaming results, as we had thought the Radeon HD 5830 CrossFire setup would be able to show an advantage over a single GeForce GTX 470. As it stands, the gaming performance is virtually the same at 1920x1080, and that’s leaving out the flawed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat results.
What’s going on here? The obvious blame should rest with the platform. Intel's Core i5-750 is superior to the Phenom II X4 when it comes to gaming performance. And when it comes to overclocking, the Intel processor was able to scale further than the Phenom II CPU. The 2560x1600 gaming results would have favored the CrossFire rig, but 30" monitors remain something of a rarity, and those results are less relevant to most buyers.
The bottom line remains clear: while game-centric PC builders should spend a significant amount on the graphics cards, pay close attention to your platform of choice, too. Secondary to that, the excellent price/performance ratio of the Core i5-700-series CPUs cannot be overstated. In any case, we’re looking forward to the SBM conclusion article, in which the results between all three builds are compared.
- The Balanced System
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Cards, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
- Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Media Encoding
- Benchmark Results: 2D And 3D Graphics
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And Call Of Duty
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
- Power And Temperature Benchmarks