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Results: SiSoftware Sandra

System Builder Marathon Q4 2013: System Value Compared
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Sandra's Arithmetic module exhibits a very interesting performance scale which, if we applied it to our overall value analysis, would show the $1600 and $2400 machines offering nice value. I’m actually hoping for even more of an advantage in our real-world benchmarks to put me over the top.

There's a correlation between memory bandwidth and performance in the AES-NI-accelerated encryption test. The quad-channel controller can feed the host processor even more instructions once I overclock.

Don gave up after enabling XMP as his $1600 PC’s memory overclock. Paul turned XMP on as a baseline for his $800 machine, but wasn’t able to overclock beyond that. I picked memory I knew I could overclock, and was rewarded by an offensive 30% price hike a month later.

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  • 5 Hide
    swordrage , December 31, 2013 1:29 AM
    Since it appears that the 4930k is such a great "value", if one can put it into proper use, that 2400 pc with a single gpu seems to be a good idea. That way, one can upgrade the gpu after 2 or 1.5 years or get a second one after 6 months or so if he feels the need, while the cpu will still be going really strong. Comparing the pace of cpu vs gpu progress, I would always second the idea of getting a really good cpu and 2nd or 3rd fastest gpu. Also the 40 pcie lanes make it even more future proof. But of course for tripple monitor setups or 4k dual is the way to go, at least for now.
  • 7 Hide
    Crashman , December 31, 2013 1:43 AM
    Quote:
    Since it appears that the 4930k is such a great "value", if one can put it into proper use, that 2400 pc with a single gpu seems to be a good idea. That way, one can upgrade the gpu after 2 or 1.5 years or get a second one after 6 months or so if he feels the need, while the cpu will still be going really strong. Comparing the pace of cpu vs gpu progress, I would always second the idea of getting a really good cpu and 2nd or 3rd fastest gpu. Also the 40 pcie lanes make it even more future proof. But of course for tripple monitor setups or 4k dual is the way to go, at least for now.
    I would have no problem recommending the system with a different graphics configuration, even a single GTX 780 Ti with room for later SLI upgrades.

  • 5 Hide
    Amdlova , December 31, 2013 4:15 AM
    put the same graphic card on these 3 system and show to us the results
  • 1 Hide
    Yuka , December 31, 2013 6:49 AM
    Thanks for another great SBM, but I want to ask if there's a way to include some metrics in a gaming context for SSDs or RAID configs so they weight more for the overall system value.

    The first one I can think of, being kind of boring as it might be, its the most obvious one to have: loading times. There are games that load a bazillion things on the fly and are some-what storage sensitive (MMOs basically) and we all hate waiting for everything to load, right? It can be clocked with a 10% error margin (thinking it usually takes around 200ms for human response).

    I'm asking this, because RAID0 could become important if we see the value it adds to our builds. I know they're nowhere near SSDs, but Steam + other games take a LOT of space. My own Games folder racks up 410GB, where Steam is 300GB alone. You could slap 2x500GB HDDs in RAID 0 for half the value of a 240GB SSD if memory serves right and 2x1TB HDDs are just a tad more expensive. You can even use notebook HDDs if you want, haha.

    Cheers!
  • -2 Hide
    redgarl , December 31, 2013 8:00 AM
    The problem with these Marathon is that they rely too much on the budget and refuse to show us what we really want. In this case, two R290X with non-reference cooler. The overclocking is not what we know this card can accomplish.

    Also, I would have cut the memory by half and remove the SSD for getting these 2 cards. Also... you really needs to change your SBM... it is ridiculous at this point.
  • 1 Hide
    redgarl , December 31, 2013 8:04 AM
    Yuka, If you have simple games, putting on your HDD instead of your SSD will make barely any difference. If you are like me and have some indie games, then save your space on your SSD for the big titles. I don't know many people can claim not having enough space with 256GB of SSD due to the amount of games they have.
  • 5 Hide
    doomtomb , December 31, 2013 8:34 AM
    All benchmark results below 1080p should be excluded and discontinued. What gamer is going to buy or build one of these monsters and play on a 19" 1600x900
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , December 31, 2013 8:52 AM
    @redgarl: There are exactly two non-reference 290X cards listed on Newegg right now, one of which is out of stock. The one that's available wasn't there when we ordered parts for the SBM, but even if it was, it sells for $650. Two of them at $1300 aren't even an option for two of these three builds.
  • 3 Hide
    jlanger , December 31, 2013 9:02 AM
    Problem with SSD's is that the big titles are getting massive. BF3 took up nearly 65g of my HDD, and BF4 is already at 58gb. I have a 240gb SSD coming and with Windows 8 and BF4 I'm not going to ahve much alternative room left!
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 31, 2013 9:11 AM
    Quote:
    The problem with these Marathon is that they rely too much on the budget and refuse to show us what we really want. In this case, two R290X with non-reference cooler.
    They weren't available when the cards were ordered.
    Quote:
    The overclocking is not what we know this card can accomplish.
    Au contraire, this is EXACTLY what THESE cards could accomplish with good cooling. I know that by the temperatures, but I understand that the temperature charts are easily overlooked.

  • 0 Hide
    poik , December 31, 2013 12:48 PM
    If you have an SSD and are not using compression you're losing/wasting a lot of space.
  • 0 Hide
    coolitic , December 31, 2013 2:09 PM
    I strongly disagree with the choices made for the 2400 one.
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 31, 2013 2:30 PM
    Quote:
    I strongly disagree with the choices made for the 2400 one.
    I'm actually very happy you didn't just throw out a bunch of gaming machine specs with that statement. So, keeping in mind that:
    1.) The $2400 PC was built with the entire benchmark set in mind, not just games
    2.) The graphics cards were $400 at the time and nobody knew that they'd be capped in Far Cry 3
    3.) Top-mounting the radiator would have further boxed-in the voltage regulator sink
    4.) The NH-D14 had been found slightly-insufficient in the previous high-end build

    What would you have liked to see changed?

  • 0 Hide
    TheOnlyPenguin , December 31, 2013 3:15 PM
    I enjoy these articles, but since am not into gaming as much as others I personally would like to see one along the lines of a workstation build off. Not really sure what the budget ranges would be, etc. But I feel it could be a nice change up from the norm on the site.
  • 1 Hide
    spentshells , January 1, 2014 7:06 AM
    Interestingly, 800 dollars will get you ultra settings @ 1080P 60 fps for 90% of games.
  • 1 Hide
    rolli59 , January 1, 2014 7:13 AM
    My favorite series on here and really there is a build for everyone though I believe we should still have an Entry level build in the $500-650 range included!
  • 0 Hide
    brenro , January 1, 2014 7:14 AM
    Just curious. Why don't we test at 2560X1600 any more? I'm sure a lot of us doing a $2400 build have a big monitor to go along with it.
  • 1 Hide
    spentshells , January 1, 2014 7:22 AM
    I must agree with Rolli 500-600 is a popular build price. certainly more so than mid priced build.
  • 1 Hide
    SessouXFX , January 1, 2014 2:14 PM
    Quote:
    Problem with SSD's is that the big titles are getting massive. BF3 took up nearly 65g of my HDD, and BF4 is already at 58gb. I have a 240gb SSD coming and with Windows 8 and BF4 I'm not going to ahve much alternative room left!


    Compression, dude! It's your best friend in digital gaming. And if all else fails, get an external drive. They're still pretty useful and cheap...

    And I think the only thing I can disagree with the $1600 build is the case. OMG!! My eyes! Ughhhhh!
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , January 1, 2014 3:56 PM
    Compression is not your friend, it adds overhead to the CPU and SSD. Honestly if these guys would have bought ASUS boards on these systems, RAM DISK is a solution to look at.

    Whatever popular game your playing at the time, load it into the ram disk, when you grown tired of the game, unload it from RAM disk and back onto the HDD. Speed when you need it, storage when you dont.
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