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Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2014: The $750 Gaming PC
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The following tables give you a more in-depth look at the specifications of this quarter's System Builder Marathon configuration, along with the modest overclock I achieved with its graphics card, along with the same information from my previous two SBM builds. At the very bottom, you'll find all of the programs and games used for benchmarking.

Current $750 PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Core i3-4130 (Haswell): 3.4 GHz, 3 MB shared L3 cache, Power-saving features enabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel boxed heat sink and fanUnchanged
MotherboardAsus H81M-K, LGA 1150, Intel H81 Express, BIOS: v.0304 (08-23-13)Unchanged
RAM8 GB (2 x 4 GB) Adata DDR3-1600 kit, CL 9-9-9-24 XMP at 1.5 VUnchanged
GraphicsZotac ZT-70301-10P GeForce GTX 770 2 GB GDDR5, 1059 MHz (1111 MHz GPU Boost, 1150 MHz maximum) GPU, 1.2 V, 1753 MHz (7010 MT/s) memory1283 MHz (Maximum GPU Boost), 1903 MHz (7610 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory, (+12 mV, 106% power, Custom fan profile)
Hard DriveWestern Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated eight-channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated GbE networkingUnchanged
PowerRosewill Capstone-450-M 450 W ATXUnchanged
OpticalAsus 24x DVD burner DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce 332.21 WHQLUnchanged
Platform DriverIntel Inf. v. 9.4.0.1017Unchanged

And here's last quarter's configuration.

Q4 2013 $800 PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Core i5-3470 (Ivy Bridge): 3.2 GHz Base Clock Rate, 3.6 GHz Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache, Power-saving features enabled3.8 - 4.0 GHz (20 * 200), Power-saving features enabled
CPU CoolerIntel boxed heat sink and fanUnchanged
MotherboardASRock Z75 Pro3, LGA 1155, Intel Z75 Express, BIOS: v.P1.90 (07-12-13)Unchanged
RAM8 GB (2 x 4 GB)Team Vulcan DDR3-1600 kit, CL 9-9-9-24 XMP at 1.5 VUnchanged
GraphicsGigabyte GV-R928XOC-3GD Radeon R9 280X 3 GB GDDR5, 1100 MHz GPU, 1500 MHz (6000 MT/s) memory1115 MHz GPU, 1600 MHz (6400 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated eight-channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated GbE networkingUnchanged
PowerEVGA 500B 100-B1-0500-KR 500 W ATX12V v2.91Unchanged
OpticalLite-On 24x DVD burner SATA IHAS124-04Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta  9.4Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel Inf. v. 9.4.0.1017Unchanged

And finally, the $650 PC from six months ago.

Q3 2013 $650 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUAMD FX-6300 (Vishera), 3.5 GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo Core), Socket AM3+, 8 MB shared L3 cache, Turbo Core enabled, Power-saving features enabled4 GHz (20 * 200), stock 1.2625 V VID, Turbo Core disabled, Power-saving features disabled
CPU CoolerAMD retail boxed heat sink and fanUnchanged
MotherboardMSI 970A-G43, AMD 970 / SB950, BIOS: v.10.2 (02-04-13)Unchanged
RAM8 GB (2 x 4 GB)Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 kit, CL 9-9-9-27 XMP at 1.650 VDDR3-1866, CL 9-10-10-28 1T at 1.65 V
GraphicsEVGA GeForce GTX 760 02G-P4-2760-KR2 GB GDDR5, 980 MHz (1033 GPU Boost, 1110 MHz maximum) GPU, 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s) memory1254 MHz (Maximum GPU Boost), 1801 MHz (7204 MT/s) GDDR5 memory, (110% power, +150 MHz GPU, +600 MHz memory, Auto Fan)
Hard DriveWestern Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated eight-channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated GbE networkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 W ATX12V v2.3Unchanged
OpticalSamsung 24x DVD burner SATA Model SH-224DB/RSBSUnchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverNvidia ForceWare 320.49 WHQLUnchanged
Platform Driver
Unchanged

These are the System Builder Marathon benchmarks.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Version 1.6.0.0, DirectX 11, 90-sec. Fraps "Going Hunting"
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimVersion 1.9.32.08, 25-Sec. Fraps
Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
Far Cry 3V. 1.05, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost"
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO AMD/ HBAO NVidia 
F1 2012Version 1.3.3.0, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Arma 3Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase"
Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar"
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Grid 2Version 1.0.85.8679, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99, Video: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677, MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Abobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version 11.0.0.378 x64:Create Video, Three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6Version 6.0.0.0, 6.61GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Adobe Acrobat X ProVersion 11.0.0.379: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encyption
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion 2.67b, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual StudioVersion 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
Compression
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3"
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r"
Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.3, Performance Suite
3DMark ProfessionalVersion: 1.2.250.0, Fire Strike Standard and Extreme
SiSoftware Sandra 2013Version: 2013.01.19.50, Processor  Arithmetic,
Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
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