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Test Settings

System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: System Value Compared
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Test Hardware Configurations
  $2400 Perfomance PC  $1200 Enthusiast PC  $600 Gaming PC 
Motherboard
(Overclock)
MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3)
LGA 1155, Intel Z68 Express
O/C at 102 MHz BCLK
Biostar TA990FXE
Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX
O/C at 207 MHz RCLK
MSI PH61A-P35
LGA-1155, Intel H61 Express
No O/C
Processor
(Overclock)
Intel Core i7-2600K
3.40 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.37 V
AMD FX-6100
3.3 - 3.9 GHz, Six Cores
O/C to 4.45 GHz at 1.476 V
Intel Core i5-2400
3.1 GHz, Four Cores
No O/C
Memory
(Overclock)
8 GB Corsair DDR3-1600
CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-1636 CL 7-8-7-12
4 GB Mushkin DDR3-1600
CAS 7-8-7-24, O/C at 1.50 V
to DDR3-1380 CL 7-8-8-24
4 GB Wintec DDR3-1333
CAS 9-9-9-24, O/C at 1.65 V
to DDR3-1333 CL 7-7-7-20
Graphics
(Overclock)
2 x PNY GeForce GTX 580:
857 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4212
O/C to 951 MHz GDDR5-4312
2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950:
870 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000
O/C to 880 MHz GDDR5-5040
Sapphire Radeon HD 6870:
900MHz GPU, GDDR5-4200
O/C to 990 MHz, GDDR5-4720
OpticalLG WH12LS38 BD-RE
12x BD-R, 16x DVD±R
Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD±R/W
24x DVD±R, 48x CD-R
Samsung SH-222AB DVD±R/W
22x DVD±R, 48x CD-R
CaseFractal Design Arc MidiRosewill Challenger-U3Xigmatek Asgard II 
CPU CoolerPNY XLR8 Integrated Liquid CoolingXigmatek Gaia SD1283Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Hard DriveCrucial M4 128 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDOCZ OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G
60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
Seagate ST3500413AS
500 GB, 7200 RPM HDD
PowerMushkin Joule MKNPSJL1000
1000 W, 80 PLUS Gold
Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2
650 W, 80 PLUS Bronze
Antec EarthWatts EA430D
430 W, 80 PLUS Bronze
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 285.62AMD Catalyst Graphics 11.11
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1030AMD Catalyst Platform 8.71Intel INF 9.2.0.1030
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 8x AA
F1 2010V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Just Cause 2Version 1.0.0.2, Built-In Benchmark "Concrete Jungle"
Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF
Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 9.0.3.15 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)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.94: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.0.0.1555: 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
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 14.0 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.0 Beta 4: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.2: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.1.17.15, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    slicedtoad , December 23, 2011 5:05 AM
    Quote:
    I need to reply once more... 2x 6950s and a extremely overclocking BD 6100 with only a 650watt ps? These fuggen builds suck

    whats the matter with 650W?

    gaming tdp of 6950s = max 160 * 2 = 320
    bd 6100 95W officially.

    320 + 160 = 480
    overclocking won't need more than an extra 100W max.

    nothing else uses much power. These are budget builds, they're not made for upgradeability.

    EDIT: LOL, I just looked at your profile. Your system has a 1200W PSU for one 6970.
    I'm laughing, yet cringing at the waste of money.
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , December 23, 2011 3:52 AM
    I dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much can spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me.

    Edit: Fixed typo. Oops :p 
  • 14 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 23, 2011 3:57 AM
    The 1200$ pc doesn't perform well in comparison to the 600$ pc
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Darkerson , December 23, 2011 3:52 AM
    I dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much can spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me.

    Edit: Fixed typo. Oops :p 
  • 14 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 23, 2011 3:57 AM
    The 1200$ pc doesn't perform well in comparison to the 600$ pc
  • 6 Hide
    Dacatak , December 23, 2011 4:02 AM
    DarkersonI dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much cant spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me.


    I'm guessing you meant "can" spank.

    And spank it does.
  • 9 Hide
    hmp_goose , December 23, 2011 4:07 AM
    So the "oopsie" build this quarter with be replacing the $1200 with a i5-2500k?
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , December 23, 2011 4:26 AM
    Quote:
    I'm guessing you meant "can" spank.

    And spank it does.

    Yeah, thats what i meant.
  • 23 Hide
    slicedtoad , December 23, 2011 5:05 AM
    Quote:
    I need to reply once more... 2x 6950s and a extremely overclocking BD 6100 with only a 650watt ps? These fuggen builds suck

    whats the matter with 650W?

    gaming tdp of 6950s = max 160 * 2 = 320
    bd 6100 95W officially.

    320 + 160 = 480
    overclocking won't need more than an extra 100W max.

    nothing else uses much power. These are budget builds, they're not made for upgradeability.

    EDIT: LOL, I just looked at your profile. Your system has a 1200W PSU for one 6970.
    I'm laughing, yet cringing at the waste of money.
  • 7 Hide
    silverblue , December 23, 2011 5:21 AM
    There is something horribly wrong with putting multiple GPUs on Bulldozer. I've seen time and time again that a single GPU is generally the faster option. Probably would've made more sense to have the FX6100 build as the $600 one and elevated the $600 build to a dual-GPU config as the CPU can actually cope.

    I think we need a single/multiple GPU article to find out if there's anything that can be rescued from this. Throw in a couple of different motherboards, that sort of thing. Does memory speed make a big difference? Would Windows 8 Beta help in any way?
  • 0 Hide
    giovanni86 , December 23, 2011 5:27 AM
    Be nice to see another SBM in about 6-8 months, i forgot how often you guys do this. But indeed switching out the bulldozer for a Sandy bridge processor like the 2500k sounds like the best idea equipped with a Z68 board n a single or dual gpu's. I'm surprised with the $600 PC build, i wonder how it would handle BF3, since most my friends who want a PC want it for that game specifically. Great overall builds minus the 1200 bulldozer build, hoping to win one of them so i can be generous and give my friend a great christmas gift =D.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 23, 2011 6:01 AM
    imho, all the sbm builds of this month are good. they show how different systems, components at different price, performance points perform. the articles were fun to read. i loved how the locked i5 2400 bested the unlocked, 3 module, 6 core fx 6100. i wonder if other fx cpus bottleneck gfx cards in single mode or multi gpu combo.
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , December 23, 2011 6:36 AM
    DarkersonI dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much can spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me. Edit: Fixed typo. Oops


    and its properly implemented into windows, i dont expect it to be good in windows 7, but i expect their threading solution to get it crap together in windows 8.

    de5_royimho, all the sbm builds of this month are good. they show how different systems, components at different price, performance points perform. the articles were fun to read. i loved how the locked i5 2400 bested the unlocked, 3 module, 6 core fx 6100. i wonder if other fx cpus bottleneck gfx cards in single mode or multi gpu combo.


    realistically, its a 3 core system with threading, and the threading isn't properly implemented yet.

    what i find funnier is how the high end and the low end are so close together that its hard to justify the extra cost.
  • -7 Hide
    Jarmo , December 23, 2011 6:49 AM
    There's inherent value in supporting AMD over Intel. :) 
    Enough that there's only one supplier choice for me when building PC:s...
  • 6 Hide
    ivyanev , December 23, 2011 8:19 AM
    It is good that there is experiments in SBM ,its from our mistakes we learn best.I would like to see next time 600$ PC with BD with the same graphics card to see which CPU is best in the 120$ range(Phenom II vs core i3 vs FX4xxx).
  • 3 Hide
    noob2222 , December 23, 2011 9:17 AM
    would be nice for someone to investigate the problem with the $1200 build
    http://ht4u.net/reviews/2011/amd_fx_6100_4100_review/index29.php

    The review used a single 6950 so its similar in setup

    Mouseover the 6100 shows the I5 2300 121% speed. however somehow this build is 215% to a I5 2400 with a lesser video card (stock to stock @ 1600x1050 no aa)

    There is something besides the cpu crippling the system because you can't go from 121% to 215% while having less gpu power.
  • 0 Hide
    zhihao50 , December 23, 2011 10:56 AM
    noob2222would be nice for someone to investigate the problem with the $1200 buildhttp://ht4u.net/reviews/2011/amd_f [...] ndex29.phpThe review used a single 6950 so its similar in setup Mouseover the 6100 shows the I5 2300 121% speed. however somehow this build is 215% to a I5 2400 with a lesser video card (stock to stock @ 1600x1050 no aa)There is something besides the cpu crippling the system because you can't go from 121% to 215% while having less gpu power.


    I suppose the explanation is that when it was only one graphic card, there is not enough gpu power and thats whats causing the bottleneck, the CPU has to do less to catch up and an i5 might not be fully utilised. So when you get two GPU, the graphic power are increased and there is more demand on CPU and the 6100 just can't keep up hence the lesser performance with dual card.
  • 8 Hide
    salgado18 , December 23, 2011 12:43 PM
    DarkersonI dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much can spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me. Edit: Fixed typo. Oops

    It's a very, very tough time to be an AMD fanboy. :( 
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , December 23, 2011 12:53 PM
    I think the $1,200 build's SSD may be showing corruption slow down. Many will tell you this drive can slow systems to a crawl. I wonder if just using the HD would make a difference. Surly 2 6950's should easily win over a single 6870 in high resolution gaming. Think this system has some major problems.
  • 1 Hide
    grody , December 23, 2011 1:02 PM
    elbertSurly 2 6950's should easily win over a single 6870 in high resolution gaming. Think this system has some major problems.

    Yes it does have major problems. It has bulldozer.
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