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Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $1600 Enthusiast PC
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As we jump into the benchmarks, bear in mind that this quarter's System Builder Marathon PC features the same CPU used last quarter. The most significant change involves the graphics subsystem, which, again, features a second GeForce GTX 770 graphics card. Expect very similar results from the host processor and big gains in gaming.

Surprisingly, the Cloud Gate test result (in red) barely changes, although the raw graphics score nearly doubles as a result of the SLI-based configuration I'm using this quarter.


The PCMark scores change very little, though last quarter's build actually wins when we overclock it (this isn't something I would have expected).

When it comes to storage, though, the new machine's Samsung 840 Pro SSD demonstrates a slight advantage, though you'd be hard-pressed to identify it in the real world.

As expected, Sandra's Arithmetic module yields almost identical results from the two Core i5-4670K CPUs we're benchmarking.

Sandra's Encryption/Decryption workload is memory bandwidth-limited on platforms with AES-NI support, so the previous build's lower memory data rate hurts its outcome. More curious is that this quarter's $1600 PC fares better than we'd expect in the hashing performance test, which leans on the host processor.

Display all 61 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , February 3, 2014 10:48 AM
    Quote:
    How confident are you about sustaining the GTX770 SLI power demands for a long period of time (0.5 day) with this PSU?I

    The TX-750 V2 is a SeaSonic OEM PSU, so no worries on that end.

    Stock 770s pull ~200W while gaming. Put them through a torture test and you'll get up to 250W. Yes, these are aftermarket cooled and OCd, but I don't think these can go past 250W without thermal throttling taking place. I'd be surprised if they drew more than 225W x 2 at gaming loads.

    Even if they did draw 500W combined while gaming, the PSU has a single 62A 12V rail. So unless the rest of the system is drawing 250W, I'd say you're staying safely at an 80% load.
  • 0 Hide
    phase03 , February 2, 2014 1:25 AM
    How confident are you about sustaining the GTX770 SLI power demands for a long period of time (0.5 day) with this PSU?I
  • 0 Hide
    markaflias , January 8, 2014 8:53 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($135.81 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($585.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
    Total: $1597.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 20:53 EST-0500)


    The Tom's Hardware System Builder Marathons are restricted to the use of Newegg as a purchasing site. So your build is actually:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($40.98 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.95 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($585.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($135.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($28.97 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1750.73
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-08 10:37 EST-0500)

    You passed the budget limit by $150.


    :o  Didnt knew that :(  . Thanks for the info
  • 0 Hide
    Isaiah4110 , January 8, 2014 7:44 AM
    I agree 100% on the need of an SSD. It's nice to see others starting to take that same stance as during the first half of last year most people absolutely disagreed with me when I was including an SSD in $800-1000 builds.

    It comes down to answering the question: "What makes a computer feel slow?" I always come back to the answer being "sitting there waiting for it to do something." Seeing as there is not a major difference between wait times from a 3570k, a 4670k, and a 4770k (in general, not heavily threaded tasks) and most people on that type of budget are not getting a monitor that can display more than 60 FPS, the better investment is absolutely a solid state drive that can hold as many programs and games as possible.
  • 0 Hide
    Isaiah4110 , January 8, 2014 7:38 AM
    Quote:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($135.81 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($585.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
    Total: $1597.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 20:53 EST-0500)


    The Tom's Hardware System Builder Marathons are restricted to the use of Newegg as a purchasing site. So your build is actually:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($40.98 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.95 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($585.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($135.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($28.97 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1750.73
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-08 10:37 EST-0500)

    You passed the budget limit by $150.
  • 0 Hide
    markaflias , January 7, 2014 5:54 PM

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($135.81 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($585.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
    Total: $1597.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 20:53 EST-0500)
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 7, 2014 2:02 PM
    Well, many of my games will run on med-high settings (or better) on a HD7750. I'd rather have lowered settings + SSD, but I don't doubt that people playing more demanding games would prefer an even stronger card as their minimum.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , January 7, 2014 1:16 PM
    Quote:
    I don't see ever building a system for myself that doesn't use a SSD as the system drive. I wouldn't want less than a HD7750, but if I've got at least that, a SSD is a must.

    Right, it depends what level you can fit in the budget. If a SSD means you need to drop from a GTX 770 to 760, I'm all for that. If it means I have to drop from an R9 270 to a 7750, I'd think about it a lot more ( really I'd just say I have to save up longer. ) If you pass the range of an i5 and 7870 and you don't have an SSD, I say you're missing out and doing it wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 7, 2014 1:02 PM
    Few of us would do that, but this machine was built to compete at benchmarks, so it's a wonder they didn't build it on top of the mobo's box. Perhaps it would help if you thought of it as a $1650 machine, anticipating that it would have cost another $50 to get a "budget-appropriate" case.
  • 0 Hide
    markaflias , January 7, 2014 12:38 PM
    1600$ computer and 35$ case, thats non sense in my opinion .
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 7, 2014 12:30 PM
    I don't see ever building a system for myself that doesn't use a SSD as the system drive. I wouldn't want less than a HD7750, but if I've got at least that, a SSD is a must.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , January 7, 2014 11:31 AM
    Quote:
    I'll tell you what made the biggest difference from a user standpoint this xmas. It wasn't the fx8320 upgrade... oh it was a noticeable improvement, don't get me wrong. Noticeable at stock even... though the fx8320 at stock was slower on a core per core basis then my 965be, it felt faster thanks to the 8 cores... but no. the biggest and most important user experience change was getting the SSD

    So i'll go even further and say if getting an AMD fx cpu allows you to get an SSD, then it's a good purchase, as cpus have been bottlenecked by mechanical hard drives for the better part of a decade now... an SSD is basically required, or you won't really be able to tell the difference between the fx cpu, a core i5 cpu or a 5 year old core2duo.

    So, so true. I don't think I can ever go back from having an SSD after the last 30 months. A CPU might speed a few things up, but an SSD speeds nearly everything up. A lot of gaming die-hards want to say it doesn't help the actual fps so it's better to put the money toward a bigger GPU. My guess is they haven't experienced levels and maps that load in a fraction of the time, OS updates in five minutes rather than 30, and applications that load almost instantly.

    As long as the SSD price doesn't require dropping the CPU and/or GPU to sub-par levels, I consider it almost mandatory.
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , January 6, 2014 5:40 PM
    Quote:
    First off, nice avatar ingtar.

    Secondly, extremely well written post. I think that pretty much sums up the argument/evidence disproving the claim that TH has an Intel bias simply because they are always using Intel CPUs.

    I don't know if this initial post was in response to my last post, but - just for clarification - I never thought TH had an Intel bias. I also still think a direct comparison SMB next quarter, simply switching the builds to AMD, would be very interesting. It would be really cool to see what kind of performance difference we would actually see.


    thanks for the love for the avatar =D

    no... my post wasn't really a responce to your post... mostly to the nearly automatic reply by fanboys in ANY article about intel/amd/nvidia/android/apple/samsung/m$... I get loving the hardware you've got. Frankly I love my 8320, it is clocked up to a nice stable 5.0ghz... and while some people might say you can't possibly tell it's at 5ghz, i can assure you i could tell when it hit 5ghz after playing around with it at 4.8ghz. seemed like the little push it needed for the single core performance to smooth out and blitz anything i through at it. It was worth every hour i spent working on getting it up to 5ghz and perfectly stable.

    That said it doesn't change reality.

    the reality is quad cored intel cpus are generally faster then this beastly 8 core at most stuff... fast in a way most humans will never be able to tell without a stopwatch... but still faster then AMD. I'm happy with my chip even knowning it's not the fastest kid on the block. because it was in my budget (129.99?!!! for an octo-core?!! sign me up!), because i already had the motherboard (was on a phII x4 965be) i'd need... and the cpu cooler i'd need... so all it was, was a question of finding the xmas sale and upgrading the cpu. I'm even happier to find my 8320 hits 5ghz on a medium quality overclocking motherboard (m5a99x evo)... but that's luck of the draw, not indicative at all of what others might be able to get with a piledriver. In the end, you can be happy with your cpu, love your cpu and computer even, but that doesn't mean it's the best thing out there. And no wishing will make it so.

    I'll tell you what made the biggest difference from a user standpoint this xmas. It wasn't the fx8320 upgrade... oh it was a noticeable improvement, don't get me wrong. Noticeable at stock even... though the fx8320 at stock was slower on a core per core basis then my 965be, it felt faster thanks to the 8 cores... but no. the biggest and most important user experience change was getting the SSD

    So i'll go even further and say if getting an AMD fx cpu allows you to get an SSD, then it's a good purchase, as cpus have been bottlenecked by mechanical hard drives for the better part of a decade now... an SSD is basically required, or you won't really be able to tell the difference between the fx cpu, a core i5 cpu or a 5 year old core2duo.

    Quote:
    I agree with both of these. Ingtar's post was very good. I think some of the numbers are open for discussion, but the concept is sound. One point not addressed though is minimum frame rate.
    I have two decent systems, one Intel and one AMD. Both provide an enjoyable experience in any of my games (not among the latest and greatest, most demanding). I've been running the AMD rig lately since I wanted to "feel" the effect of a CPU upgrade (970BE to 8320), and I do indeed notice a difference.
    That said, the Intel rig "feels" smoother in some titles (e.g. GW2); I'll probably switch back to it soon. I think you've found a good rule of thumb though; if $70 more spend on a graphics card will make a notable difference, it may be worth getting the AMD rig. Just be careful not to go too cheap on the mobo, especially if you intend to overclock.



    agreed. the problem rookie AMD builders have out there is they think "am3+" and don't realize something crucial. Piledriver is not a PhenomII... and it's not an Intel Core I cpu... my old PhII actually drew more vcore at 4.0ghz then this fx8320 draws at 5.0ghz... yet when my phII was sucking down 1.48+vcore, the VRM heatsinks never were even warm to the touch. My piledriver at stock (1.31 vcore), without stress testing made those heatsinks too hot to touch with my bare hand.

    Piledriver beats the hell out of vrm/nb on your motherboard. Particularly the 8 core variety. getting a board with poor quality VRM and no heatsinks is only an option if you don't plan to do more overclocking then hitting 4.0ghz on stock voltage... and even then without proper airflow over it, you'll run the risk of blowing the VRMs out (particularly with an 8 core).

    I've built enough 6 core piledrivers to know the heat coming off the motherboard is greatly reduced from that of the 8 cores... but still significant enough to need special care if you're really going to drive the voltages and clocks high. Cheap boards with crappy vrms might be fine on an intel or phenomII build... but for piledriver, for actual overclocking a piledriver you need something better...
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 6, 2014 1:37 PM
    Quote:

    ...Secondly, extremely well written post. I think that pretty much sums up the argument/evidence disproving the claim that TH has an Intel bias simply because they are always using Intel CPUs.

    I don't know if this initial post was in response to my last post, but - just for clarification - I never thought TH had an Intel bias. I also still think a direct comparison SMB next quarter, simply switching the builds to AMD, would be very interesting. It would be really cool to see what kind of performance difference we would actually see.

    I agree with both of these. Ingtar's post was very good. I think some of the numbers are open for discussion, but the concept is sound. One point not addressed though is minimum frame rate.
    I have two decent systems, one Intel and one AMD. Both provide an enjoyable experience in any of my games (not among the latest and greatest, most demanding). I've been running the AMD rig lately since I wanted to "feel" the effect of a CPU upgrade (970BE to 8320), and I do indeed notice a difference.
    That said, the Intel rig "feels" smoother in some titles (e.g. GW2); I'll probably switch back to it soon. I think you've found a good rule of thumb though; if $70 more spend on a graphics card will make a notable difference, it may be worth getting the AMD rig. Just be careful not to go too cheap on the mobo, especially if you intend to overclock.

  • 0 Hide
    Isaiah4110 , January 6, 2014 7:45 AM
    Quote:
    I have an AMD build... I've built plenty of recent intel machines. It's not bias when intel wins a benchmark. Intel makes incredible chips. As does AMD. Coming in second doesn't mean AMD sucks.

    Simply put, as long as programmers continue to write "mostly" single threaded apps, you'll never see AMD win a majority of benches. That doesn't mean there isn't situations an AMD cpu makes as much or more sense then an intel. It just means AMD cpus tend to be limited to certain budgets and builds.

    The fellow who dropped $2700 on an AMD build actually spent his cash poorly. It's pretty simple math. In order for an AMD cpu to make sense over an intel, you need to be able to translate the $$ saved into a part that puts the AMD cpu on par with or better then the comparable Intel build. What complicates the math is overclocking... but you can make certain assumptions.

    1) generally you can expect piledriver cpus to overclock up to 4.6-4.7ghz on a basic air cooler like a hyper evo.
    2) generally 4.8ghz-4.9ghz is where an 8 core piledriver will give you better then non-k intel cpu performance; and in PROPERLY multithreaded tasks will pace or beat most i5s/i7s no matter what the overclock.
    3) generally every piledriver overclocked up to 4.0ghz will give you 60fps in ANY game at 1080p... and generally every piledriver will hit 4.0 on any motherboard and the stock cooler

    SO

    a) if you have a 60hz monitor
    b) don't mind a little overclocking (up to 4.0ghz)

    you will get basically indistinguishable from intel gaming performance out of piledriver. In fact, if all you're shooting for is 4.0ghz overclock, you pretty much will get a better gaming experience from an AMD build as you'll have a clear $$ advantage going for AMD, allowing you to buy better video cards and supporting parts.

    It gets a lot murkier as you search for better overclocks AND as your budget goes up. because as the budget goes up the % of your budget spent on your cpu/mb/cpu cooler goes down. the advantage for going amd gets smaller and smaller the more money you have to throw at a build... as the main advantage of going AMD (getting a better video card) really is a limited advantage after a certain point. observe.

    fx 6300 + cheap AM3+ motherboard + stock cooler = roughly $160
    i5 3350 + cheap lga 1155 motherboard + stock cooler = roughly $230

    230-160 = $60

    With $60 in your pocket you should be seeing an advantage going AMD up to the $300 mark on video cards... because you can always go a step higher with a video card up until you reach the gtx770 or pre-bitcoin mining craze 7970/280x. after that point you CANT get a better video card for $60 or less. So if you set a $260 budget for case, psu, ram, and hard drive, 300 for the gpu and 160 for the cpu/mb you'll hit the max $$ an amd build will make clear cut sense over an intel (in gaming); which means $720 is the point it stops making clear cut sense to go AMD.

    If building a gaming machine over $720 it gets murky... depending on overclocks, needs of the user, and other things it starts to make less and less sense to go AMD... by the time you reach a $1000 budget, its almost impossible to justify an AMD cpu over an Intel.

    now remember, this math only works at 1080p and 60hz for your monitor. if someone is on a 144hz monitor at resolutions at or above 1080p, there is almost no build you can make that makes sense with an AMD. If you're planning on more then 2 video cards, there is no build that makes sense on an AMD... so on and so forth.


    First off, nice avatar ingtar.

    Secondly, extremely well written post. I think that pretty much sums up the argument/evidence disproving the claim that TH has an Intel bias simply because they are always using Intel CPUs.

    I don't know if this initial post was in response to my last post, but - just for clarification - I never thought TH had an Intel bias. I also still think a direct comparison SMB next quarter, simply switching the builds to AMD, would be very interesting. It would be really cool to see what kind of performance difference we would actually see.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , January 6, 2014 6:10 AM
    Quote:
    my comparison was under a very specific set of circumstances. according to most benches i've seen, a 6 core or more piledriver clocked to 4.0ghz will pretty much always give you a min frame-rate of 60fps at 1080p... this is why it doesn't MATTER for the most part what cpu you get for gaming if you're going to use a 1080p 60hz monitor.

    That's why the 6core fx6300 makes a suitable comparison under that situation... it doesn't matter if the i5-3350 will give me 100fps while the piledriver (at 4.0ghz) will give me 70... because the monitor can't show that difference. My system is a fx 8320, clocked up to 5.0ghz, it's an amazing chip, with a lot of power. but frankly, since i'm on a single 1080p 60hz monitor i'll probably never see all that clock speed or core advantage. someone with a fx6300 sitting at 4ghz will get as good an end user experience in games.

    Well, most games... there are some exceptions... but they're few and far between.

    setting aside that small miscommunication, i agree that 600-800 is the sweet point for an AMD build. past that point it gets pretty questionable. And once you crack 1k it gets very hard to justify anymore. (under 600 it gets sorta murky too, as depending on your needs you may or may not want an AMD cpu... there certainly are plenty of sub $500 builds that make more sense to go intel then AMD at least)

    I too am on a single screen for gaming ( having two asymmetrical displays. ) I agree, on a single 1080p display, it largely doesn't matter what CPU you have once you pass the FX-4300 or i5-3350P. The performance difference is largely impossible to see or feel ( yet some people still want to say they can "see" and "feel" the difference between 60 fps and 100fps. Please. ) As I said on the $800 build thread, at that point, the GPU becomes the limiting factor. A faster CPU might bump a few frames, but a faster GPU will bump it by tens, if not more.
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , January 3, 2014 6:53 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Simply put, as long as programmers continue to write "mostly" single threaded apps, you'll never see AMD win a majority of benches. That doesn't mean there isn't situations an AMD cpu makes as much or more sense then an intel. It just means AMD cpus tend to be limited to certain budgets and builds.
    With Intel's superior IPC right now, AMD would still be behind even if the majority of games now used four threads. Using your comparison of 3350 and 6300, the AMD won't pull ahead unless you highly overclock it or use more than four threads.

    Your $700 price point I agree with. I usually slide it closer to the $600 - $650 range, because I'm willing to give up a little graphical prowess if it means a cooler, quieter system.


    my comparison was under a very specific set of circumstances. according to most benches i've seen, a 6 core or more piledriver clocked to 4.0ghz will pretty much always give you a min frame-rate of 60fps at 1080p... this is why it doesn't MATTER for the most part what cpu you get for gaming if you're going to use a 1080p 60hz monitor.

    That's why the 6core fx6300 makes a suitable comparison under that situation... it doesn't matter if the i5-3350 will give me 100fps while the piledriver (at 4.0ghz) will give me 70... because the monitor can't show that difference. My system is a fx 8320, clocked up to 5.0ghz, it's an amazing chip, with a lot of power. but frankly, since i'm on a single 1080p 60hz monitor i'll probably never see all that clock speed or core advantage. someone with a fx6300 sitting at 4ghz will get as good an end user experience in games.

    Well, most games... there are some exceptions... but they're few and far between.

    setting aside that small miscommunication, i agree that 600-800 is the sweet point for an AMD build. past that point it gets pretty questionable. And once you crack 1k it gets very hard to justify anymore. (under 600 it gets sorta murky too, as depending on your needs you may or may not want an AMD cpu... there certainly are plenty of sub $500 builds that make more sense to go intel then AMD at least)
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , January 3, 2014 4:22 PM
    Quote:
    Simply put, as long as programmers continue to write "mostly" single threaded apps, you'll never see AMD win a majority of benches. That doesn't mean there isn't situations an AMD cpu makes as much or more sense then an intel. It just means AMD cpus tend to be limited to certain budgets and builds.
    With Intel's superior IPC right now, AMD would still be behind even if the majority of games now used four threads. Using your comparison of 3350 and 6300, the AMD won't pull ahead unless you highly overclock it or use more than four threads.

    Your $700 price point I agree with. I usually slide it closer to the $600 - $650 range, because I'm willing to give up a little graphical prowess if it means a cooler, quieter system.
  • 0 Hide
    ingtar33 , January 3, 2014 3:47 PM
    I have an AMD build... I've built plenty of recent intel machines. It's not bias when intel wins a benchmark. Intel makes incredible chips. As does AMD. Coming in second doesn't mean AMD sucks.

    Simply put, as long as programmers continue to write "mostly" single threaded apps, you'll never see AMD win a majority of benches. That doesn't mean there isn't situations an AMD cpu makes as much or more sense then an intel. It just means AMD cpus tend to be limited to certain budgets and builds.

    The fellow who dropped $2700 on an AMD build actually spent his cash poorly. It's pretty simple math. In order for an AMD cpu to make sense over an intel, you need to be able to translate the $$ saved into a part that puts the AMD cpu on par with or better then the comparable Intel build. What complicates the math is overclocking... but you can make certain assumptions.

    1) generally you can expect piledriver cpus to overclock up to 4.6-4.7ghz on a basic air cooler like a hyper evo.
    2) generally 4.8ghz-4.9ghz is where an 8 core piledriver will give you better then non-k intel cpu performance; and in PROPERLY multithreaded tasks will pace or beat most i5s/i7s no matter what the overclock.
    3) generally every piledriver overclocked up to 4.0ghz will give you 60fps in ANY game at 1080p... and generally every piledriver will hit 4.0 on any motherboard and the stock cooler

    SO

    a) if you have a 60hz monitor
    b) don't mind a little overclocking (up to 4.0ghz)

    you will get basically indistinguishable from intel gaming performance out of piledriver. In fact, if all you're shooting for is 4.0ghz overclock, you pretty much will get a better gaming experience from an AMD build as you'll have a clear $$ advantage going for AMD, allowing you to buy better video cards and supporting parts.

    It gets a lot murkier as you search for better overclocks AND as your budget goes up. because as the budget goes up the % of your budget spent on your cpu/mb/cpu cooler goes down. the advantage for going amd gets smaller and smaller the more money you have to throw at a build... as the main advantage of going AMD (getting a better video card) really is a limited advantage after a certain point. observe.

    fx 6300 + cheap AM3+ motherboard + stock cooler = roughly $160
    i5 3350 + cheap lga 1155 motherboard + stock cooler = roughly $230

    230-160 = $60

    With $60 in your pocket you should be seeing an advantage going AMD up to the $300 mark on video cards... because you can always go a step higher with a video card up until you reach the gtx770 or pre-bitcoin mining craze 7970/280x. after that point you CANT get a better video card for $60 or less. So if you set a $260 budget for case, psu, ram, and hard drive, 300 for the gpu and 160 for the cpu/mb you'll hit the max $$ an amd build will make clear cut sense over an intel (in gaming); which means $720 is the point it stops making clear cut sense to go AMD.

    If building a gaming machine over $720 it gets murky... depending on overclocks, needs of the user, and other things it starts to make less and less sense to go AMD... by the time you reach a $1000 budget, its almost impossible to justify an AMD cpu over an Intel.

    now remember, this math only works at 1080p and 60hz for your monitor. if someone is on a 144hz monitor at resolutions at or above 1080p, there is almost no build you can make that makes sense with an AMD. If you're planning on more then 2 video cards, there is no build that makes sense on an AMD... so on and so forth.
  • 0 Hide
    Isaiah4110 , January 2, 2014 7:41 AM
    I really get tired of all these "Tom's Hardware has such a _______ (really, insert AMD, nVidia, or Intel here because I've seen it all) bias" comments, and I imagine you guys probably do as well Crashman.

    Random thought on that note: You know what would actually be pretty interesting would be to see the next SBM be specifically targeting the AMD CPU builders. Use the exact same limits you did this time and require each build to use an AMD CPU. Then compare each AMD machine (or at least the $1600 and $2400 machines) not just to the previous quarter's build at the same level, but to all three previous quarter builds.

    Doing something like this would [hopefully] accomplish two things: 1) Stop people from insisting TH has an Intel bias by putting the benchmark data, dollar for dollar, right there on the front page, and 2) give those who want to build with AMD CPUs a starting point/idea of what they can get at each price point. I would actually be really interested to see what a $2400 PC with an AMD processor would look like and how it would perform as a whole against the $2400 and $1600 builds from this quarter.
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