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Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: Value, Compared

Sandra's Arithmetic test shows the expensive system’s quad-core CPU providing around twice as much performance as the mid-priced dual-core chip. The budget PC’s triple-core processor shines the value light on AMD’s CPU.

Our cheapest system surpasses the Sandra Multimedia performance of its double-core (and double-priced) $1000 rival, though it still doesn’t stand a chance against the $2000 build. On the other hand, half the performance at a quarter the price again shows AMD’s value leadership.

Memory bandwidth is embarrassing for both Intel-based builds: Mushkin “updated” the Essentials modules ordered for the $2000 PC to less-overclockable parts, forcing the builder to hunt for better timings at a lower data rate after overclocking the system’s base clock. The $1000 builder was put into a similar position, but his strict policy of not increasing DIMM voltage forced an even bigger drop in performance, penalizing his build even more.

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