Page 1:Spending More On Better Gaming Performance
Page 2:CPU And Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 6:Assembling Our Gaming Box
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Results: Synthetics
Page 10:Results: Audio And Video
Page 11:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 12:Results: Productivity
Page 13:Results: Compression
Page 14:Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 15:Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
Page 16:Results: Battlefield 4, Arma III, And Grid 2
Page 17:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 18:Performance Summary
Page 19:Does Spending More On A PC Mean You Get More Value?
Power Consumption And Temperatures
Power-saving features remain enabled on both stock configurations, as well as this quarter's overclocked $800 PC. As I tweaked the FX-6300’s clock rates last quarter, I turned those features off for greater stability and performance consistency.
The $800 rig’s Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 sips less power at idle and under load, but its beefier Radeon R9 280X graphics card pushes consumption higher in gaming environments.
We know there are folks who will worry that Gigabyte recommends a 600 W power supply or more to support its Radeon R9 280X. But keep in mind that (factoring in efficiency) the peak output pulled from our selection under full load remained under 300 W. EVGA's 500 W supply packs plenty of reserve power in its relatively large 40 A, +12 V rail.
Both boxed coolers are adequate for our mild overclocking endeavors, though Intel’s solution is quieter. If you live somewhere warm, consider a more elegant heat sink and fan combination, particularly if you plan to overclock.
Gigabyte’s three-fan cooler peaked at 79% under load, making my $800 PC noisier during gaming marathons. It's also worth mentioning that I occasionally heard mild coil whine while gaming, which I suspect came from the graphics card. It wasn’t frequent or loud, but I consider that squealing sound to be very distracting.
- Spending More On Better Gaming Performance
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Gaming Box
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Results: Battlefield 4, Arma III, And Grid 2
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary
- Does Spending More On A PC Mean You Get More Value?