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Benchmark Results: 3DMark And PCMark

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: Value, Compared
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Though games are typically bottlenecked at low resolutions by a CPU, 3DMark loves graphics power even at its 1280x1024 “Performance” preset. 3DMark also awards points for extra CPU cores, whereas few games can benefit from more than the three found in our $500 build.

The overclocked $1000 PC catches up to the stock $2000 configuration at 3DMark’s “Extreme” preset. If this happens in real games, the expensive build will surely have a value penalty.

PCMark loves fast drives, putting the $2000 PC’s striped SSD configuration far ahead of its lower-priced competitors. Let’s see how that plays out in a few individual performance scores.

While most file system benchmarks show transfer times, PCMark converts these into MB/s based on the total size of the files transferred. The results still include seek time, since it adds to the number of seconds in PCMark’s MB/s calculation. The results charted above are the only synthetic tests that will make it into our value analysis, since we have real applications to measure GPU and CPU performance.

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