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Test System And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $1,000 Enthusiast PC
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We compare our new build to the $1,500 Core i7 system we put together for our last SBM in March of 2010. That system had the benefit of two Radeon HD 5850 cards in CrossFire, in addition to the Core i7-920 CPU.

With $500 chopped off of our budget, we're not fooling ourselves into thinking we'll achieve the same performance. However, we do think that there's a good chance our overclocked performance will be in the same league as the stock performance that the $1,500 Core i7 system achieved.

$1,000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardMSI 790X-G45 Socket AM3
Chipset: AMD 790X
Unchanged
ProcessorPhenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8 GHz
  3Cores, 6MB L3 Cache (OEM)
3.424 GHz at 1.5V,
16x multiplier, 214 MHz Base Clock
MemoryCrucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
DDR3-1426, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
Graphics2 x Radeon HD 5830 (CrossFireX)
1GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card
Radeon HD 5830 GPU at 800 MHz
GDDR5-4400
820 MHz GPU
Hard DrivesWD Caviar Blue 320GB
320GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLite-On iHas124
24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650W
ATX12V, EPS12V , 80-Plus Certified
Unchanged
$1,500 Enthusiast PC (From Previous SBM) Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardASRock X58 Extreme LGA-1366
Chipset: Intel X58 Express
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i7-920 2.66 GHz
4 Cores, 8MB L3 Cache
3.9 GHz, 195 MHz Reference Clock 
MemoryCrucial 6GB (3x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3-1333
533 MHz (1,066 MHz DDR), CAS 7-7-7-59
DDR3-1560, CAS 8-8-8-18
Graphics2 x Radeon HD 5850 (CrossFireX)
1GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card
Radeon HD 5850 GPU at 725 MHz
GDDR5-4500
775 MHz GPU
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750GB
7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalSamsung SH-S2232C
22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 16x DVD ROM, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseCooler Master CM 690
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-750TX 750W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80-Plus Certified
Unchanged


And now for the benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
DiRT 2
In-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2
Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
Call of Pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes
Version: 9.0.2.25 x64
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file
from "The Last Samurai" (1.0GB) to .mp4
High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292
Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)
Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s)
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407
Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra,
Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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