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Benchmark Results: 3D Games

System Builder Marathon: Performance & Value
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It appears at first that the $1,250 system is required to play Crysis at any resolution, but not everyone requires those very-high details. At medium details, we reported that the $625 gamer could play somewhat smoothly at resolutions up to 1920x1200.

Anyone who can appreciate really high levels of detail and is willing to give up a little resolution in exchange for good anti-aliasing will find our $1,250 enthusiast system adequate where its $1,500 predecessor was lacking.

The $1250 machine blazes through Supreme Commander Forged Alliance with anti-aliasing-disabled, but gets significantly bogged down when the feature is set to 4x. Most users probably won’t notice the effects of aliasing at 1920x1200 pixels when using a 24” monitor. On the other hand, most players probably don’t need super-smooth frame rates for RTS games anyway.

In fact, long-suffering players may even find the $625 system suitable, if not comfortable to watch, at resolutions up to 1680x1050 with anti-aliasing disabled. Concerning the previous $500 build, we have to wonder how much pain an RTS player can tolerate.

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  • 0 Hide
    namelessted , November 28, 2008 7:37 AM
    So is there not going to be a high end build somewhere around $2000? Because I am looking forward to that one as usual.
  • 4 Hide
    Crashman , November 28, 2008 7:51 AM
    NamelessTedSo is there not going to be a high end build somewhere around $2000? Because I am looking forward to that one as usual.


    It was explained in the Day 1 article but should have been mentioned at the lead of this one, that Core i7 wasn't ready when the site placed its order. And to build a high-end Core 2 machine after Core i7 was available was not a viable option. Since the site couldn't get a retail Core i7 on time, the high-end build was scrapped.
  • -1 Hide
    namelessted , November 28, 2008 7:57 AM
    @Crashman, that makes sense, I guess i missed that in the Day 1 article. Man, I really wish I could have seen the comparison with the Core i7 and 6GB of DDR3 RAM. I guess I will have to wait until next month.
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , November 28, 2008 8:10 AM
    I'm just glad it was the first question asked, so the answer could be right at the top. Otherwise it might have been asked a few hundred more times, rather than a few more times.
  • 1 Hide
    slomo4sho , November 28, 2008 8:52 AM
    Surprisingly, there was a 1:1 relationship between performance and price when comparing last months $500 build and this months $625 build. You got about a 25% performance boost with an increase in cost by 25%.

    Thanks for the write-up. I look forward to seeing both a AMD and Intel build for the lowest price point builds in the upcoming months hopefully :) 
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , November 28, 2008 12:31 PM
    i think the pentium dual core and athlon x2 systems are quite the lowest price points...anything lower will be single core systems.
    i should have got the pentium dual core for the same price of an amd.
    i was focusing too much on core2duos and thought they were too expensive compared to athlon x2's.
    my x2 5000 runs at 3.1 GHz compared to pentium dual cores running at 4.2GHz with 2MB of L2 cache, 1MB more than the x2.
    ultimately, pentium dual cores are core2duo's with less cache. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Huttfuzz , November 28, 2008 1:25 PM
    Excellent articles as usual. I wish my e8400 was as responsive to OC...lol
  • 0 Hide
    Teruo , November 28, 2008 2:01 PM
    Sorry to bring up the highend system again, but I really do what to see Quadcore Q9300 to be OC because I'm planning to get a Q9300 budget around $1400. Would the setting of the $1250 replace with Q9300 would have a good increase in gaming performance or they will be similar which is not worth the CPU upgrade?
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , November 28, 2008 2:39 PM
    @Teruo: Quads won't help gaming as most games arn't optimised for quads. However games like FSX will benefit from a quad as that game is more CPU bound than GPU.
  • 2 Hide
    Onus , November 28, 2008 3:16 PM
    This whole series made a lot more sense than those from past months. Nothing in any of the builds was hopelessly out of balance or an unlikely choice for people actually building a system.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 28, 2008 3:47 PM
    I would really like to see a higher end build that consistently exceeds the "value" of the $500 system. The $625 build came close, but is it possible to get a higher percentage gain in performance than you spend for parts?
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , November 28, 2008 4:38 PM
    i don't think there is, unless you can live at an amd processor and 780G motherboard.
  • 0 Hide
    micles5 , November 28, 2008 4:49 PM
    i want to see $625 pc benchmarks with 4870 graphic card. i think there is no point to spend twice more when you can spend $50 more and get 25 percent more performance. My Pc 6320 2.8 ghz, 6gb, 4870 oc to 790 gpu 1100 ram. everything max on 1920x1080. people think please.
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , November 28, 2008 4:55 PM
    micles5My Pc 6320 2.8 ghz, 6gb, 4870 oc to 790 gpu 1100 ram. everything max on 1920x1080. people think please.


    'everything' but Crysis, right? ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Portall , November 28, 2008 5:14 PM
    but COD, but FarCry, but Fallout... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    habib2005 , November 28, 2008 5:25 PM
    Where is AMD ?
    I wish to see intel vs amd in price and performance comparisons .
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , November 28, 2008 6:35 PM
    habib2005Where is AMD ?I wish to see intel vs amd in price and performance comparisons .


    Unfortunately, AMD can't touch Intel when it comes to overclocking, and that's a big part of the System Builder Marathons.

    We'll see what the Phenom IIs bring to the table, tho. I'd love to see AMD supply a good price/performing overclocker again.
  • -1 Hide
    Tindytim , November 28, 2008 7:08 PM
    It wi be extremely interesting to see how much "bang for the buck' a Core i7 system will have.

    this stupid text field glitch. Is it going to be fixed?
  • 0 Hide
    afrobacon , November 28, 2008 7:51 PM
    I agree, making a $625 AMD system just for comparison reasons could be extremely useful.
  • -1 Hide
    cobra420 , November 28, 2008 8:02 PM
    i would still like to see some amd stuff in here .
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