System Builder Marathon, December 2012: The Articles
Here are links to each of the four articles in this quarter’s System Builder Marathon (we’ll update them as each story is published). And remember, these systems are all being given away at the end of the marathon.
To enter the giveaway, please fill out this SurveyGizmo form, and be sure to read the complete rules before entering!
Day 1: The $500 Gaming PC
Day 2: The $1,000 Enthusiast PC
Day 3: The $2,000 Performance PC
Day 4: Performance And Value, Dissected
I read through Chris' analysis of AMD's Vishera-based FX-8350 very carefully (AMD FX-8350 Review: Does Piledriver Fix Bulldozer's Flaws?) and was happy to see that the company at least had a viable alternative to Intel's Core i5-3570K on its hands.
Naturally, I wanted to know how an FX-based System Builder Marathon machine would compare to the box I built last quarter, which housed...a Core i5-3570K. So, I bought similar components this time around, except for the platform, and set off to figure out how our new benchmark suite would treat the competing architectures.
We know the FX-8350's performance can be inconsistent compared to the Core i5 due to its modular design. However, we've run enough tests to know that lightly-threaded workloads generally favor Intel, while more demanding applications go AMD's way. Although the Piledriver design does help the FX in games, we're expecting Intel to retain its advantage in that discipline.
|$1,000 Enthusiast System Components|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte DA-970A-D3, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 Chipset||$70|
|Processor||AMD FX-8350 (Piledriver): 4 GHz Base Clock Rate, 4.3 GHz Maximum Turbo Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache||$220|
|Heat Sink||Xigmatek Loki SD963 92 mm CPU Cooler||$25|
|Memory||Mushkin Enhanced Blackline: DDR3-1600, 2 x 4 GB (8 GB) Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit||$50|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 GV-N670OC-2GD, 2 GB GDDR5||$350|
|SSD||OCZ Agility 3: 60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s||$65|
|Hard Drive||Hitachi GST Deskstar 7K1000.C: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s||$90|
|Optical||LG GH24NS90 OEM: DVD Burner||$19|
|Power||Corsair CX600: 600 W, ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified||$70|
Since we ordered the parts for this build, some prices are up and others are down. Fortunately, the current $1,009 price tag is very close to the $1,000 target. Keep in mind that the previous configuration went $57 over budget, and the graphics card alone is down $50 since last quarter.
- FX-8350 Brings AMD Back To The Table
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Media Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Adobe CS6
- Benchmark Results: Compression Tools
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: F1 2012
- Power And Temperature
- Analyzing Our FX-8350 Experiment