System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: System Value Compared

Benchmark Results: 3DMark And PCMark

The $600 PC loses in 3DMark 11, while the $2400 PC wins.

That was, of course, the expected result. At the same time, it’s surprising to see the $1200 PC’s Radeon HD 6950s in CrossFire perform more like the $600 build’s single Radeon HD 6870 than the two GeForce GTX 580s in SLI propelling the $2400 machine forward.

We're hit with another big surprise when the $1200 PC falls closer to the $600 PC in PCMark. Both the $2400 and $1200 PC rely on a single SSD to house all of our suite's programs and benchmarks, both SSDs are reasonably good performers, and PCMark 7 heavily favors quick drives. Meanwhile, the $600 machine employs a conventional disk, which would seemingly put it at a disadvantage.

A closer look at PCMark’s individual storage scores shows that the $1200 PC’s SSD is worth around three to five times the performance of the $600 PC’s hard drive. We actually expected more, since SSD seek times are extremely low.

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    Top Comments
  • slicedtoad
    Anonymous said:
    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.
    23
  • Darkerson
    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
    20
  • theuniquegamer
    The 1200$ pc doesn't perform well in comparison to the 600$ pc
    14
  • Other Comments
  • Darkerson
    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
    20
  • theuniquegamer
    The 1200$ pc doesn't perform well in comparison to the 600$ pc
    14
  • Dacatak
    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.
    6
  • hmp_goose
    So the "oopsie" build this quarter with be replacing the $1200 with a i5-2500k?
    9
  • Darkerson
    Anonymous said:
    I'm guessing you meant "can" spank.

    And spank it does.

    Yeah, thats what i meant.
    2
  • zloginet
    Just curious how 2x 6950s loose to a 580.... My AMD 1100t @ 4.2 with a MSI R6970 Twin FrozrIII isn't much behind a 580... This is a joke.
    -18
  • zloginet
    zloginetJust curious how 2x 6950s loose to a 580.... My AMD 1100t @ 4.2 with a MSI R6970 Twin FrozrIII isn't much behind a 580... This is a joke.


    NM, the original part of the thread I thought I read 1x 580, now I see 2x...
    -16
  • zloginet
    zloginetNM, the original part of the thread I thought I read 1x 580, now I see 2x...


    I need to reply once more... 2x 6950s and a extremely overclocking BD 6100 with only a 650watt ps? These fuggen builds suck
    -21
  • slicedtoad
    Anonymous said:
    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.
    23
  • silverblue
    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?
    7
  • giovanni86
    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
  • de5_Roy
    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.
    0
  • alidan
    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.
    3
  • Jarmo
    There's inherent value in supporting AMD over Intel. :)
    Enough that there's only one supplier choice for me when building PC:s...
    -7
  • ivyanev
    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).
    6
  • noob2222
    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.
    3
  • zhihao50
    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.
    0
  • salgado18
    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. :(
    8
  • elbert
    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.
    0
  • grody
    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.
    1