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Test Settings And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $2000 Performance PC

Test Hardware Configurations
 Q2 2012 $2000 PCQ1 2012 $2600 PC
Intel Core i7-3770K
3.50 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.25 V
Intel Core i7-3930K
3.20 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.38 V
Asus GTX680-DC2T-2GD5: 1201 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-6008
O/C to 1262 MHz GDDR5-7204
MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC: 1010 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-5500
O/C to 1100 MHz GDDR5-6000
8 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600
CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-2000 CL 8-10-9-16
16 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600
CAS 9-9-9-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-1866 CL 9-10-9-16
ASRock Z77 Extreme6:
LGA 1155, Intel Z77 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
Asus P9X79 Pro
LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
OpticalLite-On iHAS124-04 24x DVD±RPioneer BDR-206DBKS 12x BD-R
CaseAntec Nine HundredAntec P280 Case w/Rosewill Fans
CPU CoolerZalman CNPS12XZalman CNPS12X
Hard DriveMushkin Chronos Deluxe MX 120 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerSeaSonic SS-750KM: 750W, ATX12V, 80 PLUS Gold SeaSonic SS-860XP: 860W, ATX12V, 80-Plus Platinum
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 301.42AMD Catalyst 12.2
ChipsetIntel INF INF

In addition to overclocking our PC, we enabled Virtu MVP’s HyperFormance mode in the overclocked configuration. Though it doesn't demonstrate much benefit in most of our System Builder Marathon games, you will see it bolster the 3DMark score. Except for that exhibition, its ineffectiveness in applications that count towards our overall performance calculations would have otherwise caused us to leave it disabled.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled
Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
StarCraft IICustom map "Tom's Hardware Guide V2", 60 seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: High Details, High Quality
Test Set 2: Ultra Details, Extreme Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 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 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 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
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mental ray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (650 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (650 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (650 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version:, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.10.17.80, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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