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Benchmark Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $650 Gaming PC


We see more evidence that the older configuration had a powerful CPU in this 3DMark 11 Entry quality preset, which, when you break down the scores, actually does a respectable job of isolating processor performance. The current rig's higher-end graphics card shines through at the Extreme Preset.

Two physical cores bolstered by Hyper-Threading are no match for four physical cores. So, it comes as no surprise the our PCMark results would suffer after stepping down from a Core i5 to a Core i3.

Despite the use of seemingly equivalent mechanical drives, the current machine is not quite able to achieve the same storage performance measurements as its predecessor. We ran this test a few times from clean operating system installations to compare the performance of Intel's H61-based SATA 3Gb/s controller and Marvell's 6 Gb/s add-in logic. However, we couldn't discern a significant change in disk performance either way.

The Core i3-based PC from 2012 lags behind in all of Sandra 2011’s threaded Arithmetic and Multimedia processor tests.

It’s a little disappointing to see the current machine trail slightly in memory bandwidth too, considering that both contenders are frequency-locked Intel H61 platforms sporting DDR-1333 modules at 9-9-9-24 1T. With increased DRAM voltage, both budget memory kits deliver a small bandwidth boost via fully-stable CAS 7 timings.

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