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Efficiency And Conclusion

The $750 Computing Challenge: Germany Versus USA
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Performance per Watt: 3DMark Vantage

We calculated 3DMark performance per watt-hour used. Since the German system provides much more maximum performance than the US rig, the efficiency difference is not as bad as the bare power consumption numbers would imply.

Performance per Watt: PCMark Vantage

Things look worse in PCMark Vantage: Since the Radeon HD 4870 introduces a constant, minimum power requirement, it spoils the efficiency results for the German system.

Conclusion

These aren’t the final results of our international competition, as we are still waiting for the contribution from Tom’s Hardware Italy. However, we found that the US team did a much better job than Germany in choosing efficient components. The Core 2 Duo E8500 dual core is the more advanced processor, and it offers better performance for all applications that aren’t heavily thread optimized.

In exchange, the German configuration offers more substantial computation power and 3D performance, as you can see in all benchmarks that can capitalize on the two additional processing cores and the Radeon HD4870’s additional 3D horsepower.

All that said, if I were to build a $750 system now, neither of these two builds would really make me happy. Good thing we’ll be looking at the Italian $750 PC soon!