Page 1:The Magic Of Anticipation
Page 2:CPU, CPU Cooler, And Memory
Page 3:Motherboard, Graphics, And Power
Page 4:Case, SSD, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
Page 5:The Initial Installation: My First Attempt
Page 6:Ten Days, Ten Solutions?
Page 7:Starting Over, This Time With Success
Page 9:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 10:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 11:Results: Battlefield 3 And Far Cry 3
Page 12:Results: F1 2012 And Skyrim
Page 13:Results: Non-Gaming Applications
Page 14:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 15:The Less-Obvious Benefits Of Spending More
CPU, CPU Cooler, And Memory
It’s makin’ me late…
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
Today’s machine is an upgrade to my previous $1,000 build. The one thing I didn't really feel compelled to upgrade, though, was its Core i5-3570K. At least, I didn’t think it needed an upgrade until I read Don's recent Crysis 3 coverage (Crysis 3 Performance, Benchmarked On 16 Graphics Cards). Moving on...
A mere 100 MHz slower than the Core i7-3770K, Intel's Core i5-3570K falls only slightly behind in most benchmarks. A few metrics that would have exploited Hyper-Threading also reflect slightly larger losses. However, overall value favors this less-expensive part.
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14
Noctua’s NH-D14 received last year’s highest award after maintaining its top performance standing for two years in a row. We didn’t really need a cooler this big for a CPU this small, but its reduced noise will improve the experience of this system’s eventual winner.
Excessive cooling can’t be a bad thing, right? We can always hope that this cooler gives our processor the extra few MHz we previously needed to cross the 4.5 GHz barrier.
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600
Also found in my original build, Crucial’s BLT2K4G3D1608ET3LX0 memory kit is a fallback part. It wasn’t our first choice because, on the day we placed our order, I wasn’t certain of its overclockability. Only after building that $1,000 machine did this memory’s superiority become clear.
But superiority wasn’t the reason we altered our original order. Instead, we were forced to give up on higher-voltage parts after suffering memory controller degradation on two E1-stepping Core i5s in a row. Component damage occurred over the period of days, and that delay was a big reason for this article’s late publication. I’ll provide more details throughout today’s build.
- The Magic Of Anticipation
- CPU, CPU Cooler, And Memory
- Motherboard, Graphics, And Power
- Case, SSD, Hard Drive, And Optical Drive
- The Initial Installation: My First Attempt
- Ten Days, Ten Solutions?
- Starting Over, This Time With Success
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: Battlefield 3 And Far Cry 3
- Results: F1 2012 And Skyrim
- Results: Non-Gaming Applications
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- The Less-Obvious Benefits Of Spending More