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Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $500 Gaming PC
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Current $500 PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium G860 (Sandy Bridge), 3.0 GHz, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3, Power-Saving Features EnabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink And FanUnchanged
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B75M-D3V
Intel B75, BIOS F5 (03-27-2012)
Unchanged
RAM4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 Memory Kit
2 x 2 GB, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 V
Unchanged
GraphicsMSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560
810 MHz GPU, 1002 MHz (4008 MT/s) Memory
950 MHz GPU @ 1.050 V, 1102.5 MHz (4410 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD5000AAKX
500 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Unchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalSamsung SH-222BB/BEBE22x SATA DVD Burner
Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverGeForce R300 Driver v.300.42Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v.9.3.1019Unchanged
June $500 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Celeron G530 (Sandy Bridge), 2.4 GHz, LGA 1155, 2 MB Shared L3, Power-Saving Features EnabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink And FanUnchanged
MotherboardGigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V
Intel H61, BIOS F3 (02-16-2012)
Unchanged
RAM4 GB Pareema DDR3-1066 Memory Kit
2 x 2 GB, CL 7-7-7-19 1T at 1.5 V
DDR3-1066, CL 6-6-6-14 1T at 1.6 V
GraphicsECS NGT560TI-1GPI-F1 GeForce GTX 560 Ti
823 MHz GPU, 1002 MHz (4008 MT/s) Memory
891 MHz GPU, 1102.5 MHz (4410 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD3200AAKX
320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Unchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalLG GH22NS90B-OEM 22x SATA DVD Burner
Unchanged
 Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverGeForce R295 Drive v.296.10Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 6-series Inf v. 9.2.0.1030Unchanged
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Version 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11, 90-sec. Fraps "Going Hunting"
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4x AF, SSAO
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x MSAA, 16x AF, HBAO
DiRT 3Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x AA
Elders Scroll V: SkyrimVersion 1.6.89.06, Version 1.5.26.05 (June), 25-Sec. Fraps
Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
StarCraft IIVersion 1.4.4.22418, Toms Hardware Map, 60-sec. Fraps
Test Set 1: High, DX11, AAA, 4x AF, No DoF, No PhysX
Test Set 2: Very High, DX11, 4x MSAA, 16x AF, DoF, No PhysX
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Min., Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 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)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.2.0.5440: 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
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
WinRARVersion 4.01: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Entry, Performance, Extreme Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011 17.80, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    so, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe :p ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles :p 
  • 20 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.


    On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
  • 16 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , August 20, 2012 9:32 AM
    Now thats what i call an balanced build, good job .

    Also i agree with itzsnypah, Tom hardware should make an article on PC build with maximum performance that you can squeeze out of lowest watt, some people started to care about those things, and being green to the environment is nothing to be ashamed of.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    so, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe :p ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles :p 
  • 1 Hide
    itzsnypah , August 20, 2012 5:22 AM
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.

    Ever since I read the 7950B/7970GE review on here/anand performance per watt for me has been a priority when selecting components.
  • 20 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.


    On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
  • 2 Hide
    sam_fisher , August 20, 2012 5:55 AM
    mayankleoboy1On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.


    One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.
  • 7 Hide
    loops , August 20, 2012 6:48 AM
    At least I can take less heat for recommending b75 mobo...
  • 6 Hide
    itzsnypah , August 20, 2012 6:57 AM
    mayankleoboy1On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.

    According to the performance summary and efficiency page of this article Overclocking the GPU had a 13%(average according to this article) increase in power consumption for an extra 2% (average) performance. That seems like the opposite thing I'm talking about.

    Overclocking is good for performance per dollar, not performance per watt.
  • -1 Hide
    abegnale , August 20, 2012 7:40 AM
    @Paul Henningsen,
    Why not substitute some existing parts for either an I3-2100 and/or an eVGA 560 Superclocked?
  • -5 Hide
    giovanni86 , August 20, 2012 8:45 AM
    Nice, looking forward to the next builds. Some times OC does yield its advantages, those few frames can help and have helped me in games running smoothly or just over 30FPS. I honestly don't see why people are concerned with power, PC's don't cost much to run even overclocked. Unless your poor or working at McDonald's, then i see no reason why power is an issue unless otherwise stated. This whole green thing is a pain in the ass. I'm power hungry sorry.
  • 8 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 9:22 AM
    ^ there are no existing parts. This is a new build :) 
  • 16 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , August 20, 2012 9:32 AM
    Now thats what i call an balanced build, good job .

    Also i agree with itzsnypah, Tom hardware should make an article on PC build with maximum performance that you can squeeze out of lowest watt, some people started to care about those things, and being green to the environment is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • -2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 12:07 PM
    ^

    Then i have this Excellent VIA CPU+MB combo for you. Efficient as hell. Best bang for the Watt possible. Ever.
  • 3 Hide
    sarinaide , August 20, 2012 12:28 PM
    sarinaideWe need to enforce the "no celeron please" rule, terrible for that $500 PC.

    "Pentium"
  • 11 Hide
    supall , August 20, 2012 12:53 PM
    Thanks for this article. This gives me more ideas on how to build a computer for my brother this coming Christmas. Although, by that time, I would love to see if it might be possible for a Trinity-based gaming system to be built for around $500 and how it performs against this build.
  • 13 Hide
    MaxGardener , August 20, 2012 2:09 PM
    doggysoftStop using those f*cked up CPUs... why you keep using crappy pentiums???I bet that my good old Phenom 955 will blow away ANY pentium you've put so far in 500$ crappy pc.PLEASE I beg you stop using this sh*t... Since half a year you see a CPU limitation and you keep putting pentiums. When someone make a mistake the next time fix it but you don't... I bet Intel pays alot no other eplonation here!


    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-10.html

    pretty damn close, the Phenom 955 is definitely more attractive for overclockers, but offer limited upgradablilty because of motherboards etc. Pentiums use the 1155 socket, and therefore are upgradable to a better 2nd gen or 3rd gen processor, which anything above the g860 kicks the shit out of the Phenom
  • 4 Hide
    jabliese , August 20, 2012 2:10 PM
    Temperatures above Ambient chart, you have the current PC vs the current PC.
  • 1 Hide
    BSMonitor , August 20, 2012 2:45 PM
    Quote:
    One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.


    Well, there is "living in my parents basement and unemployed" budget. And there is "living on my own" budget. Clearly, mayankleoboy1, is the loving parent budget.

    Not hating though, the Kardashians all do
  • -3 Hide
    blazorthon , August 20, 2012 2:55 PM
    crisan_tiberiuso, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles


    Of course a $500 machine should be able to play any PC games today. It can't play nearly as well as a higher end setup can, but are you so elitest that you think that people with less money shouldn't be allowed to play?
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