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Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra

System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $2400 Performance PC

Sandra Arithmetic tells a sad tale about the new system’s motherboard at its default settings. Since both builds sport the same CPU, a performance difference this large can only be attributed to differences in processor multiplier.

Of course, we're also assuming that anyone who actually uses this machine is going to overclock it to similar effect. So, the victory there is reassuring.

Finding similar losses in Sandra Multimedia, we checked to see how well Intel Turbo Boost technology was working on MSI’s board. Its top 38x almost never showed itself, and only then we saw it under moderate single-core loads. Meanwhile, it stuck at 34x in most threaded programs.

Disappointed by the so-called high-end memory from our previous build, we tried running overclockable lower-cost parts in the new PC, only to be foiled by an MSI firmware that wasn’t overclock-friendly to DRAM. Chalk it up to round two of disappointment, resulting in lower memory bandwidth numbers.

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