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Test Configuration And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon: Performance & Value

The three benchmarked configurations were set up as follows:

Base And Overclocked Performance Settings

$625 PC

$1,250 PC

$5,000 PC


Intel Pentium E5200
2.50 GHz, FSB-800

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
2.83 GHz, FSB-1333

Intel Core i7 Extreme 965
3.20 GHz, 24x 133.3 MHz

CPU Overclocked

3.9 GHz (11.5x 339 MHz)
FSB-1356, 1.456 V Core

3.61 GHz (8.5 x 425 MHz)
FSB-1700, 1.350 V Core

4.20 GHz, 28x 150 MHz
1.43125 V Core


G.Skill F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK
DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12, 1.80 V

G.Skill F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK
DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12, 1.80 V

Mushkin 998679 Triple-Channel
DDR3-1600, 7-8-7-20, 1.65 V

RAM Overclocked

DDR2-814, 4-4-4-12, 1.90 V

DDR2-850, 5-6-6-16, 1.90 V

DDR3-1800, 8-9-8-20, 1.65 V


Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR

Asus Rampage II Extreme


Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 512 MB
750 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3600

Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2
750 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3600

2x MSI GeForce GTX 295
576 MHz GPU, GDDR3-1898

Graphics Overclocked

805 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3700

780 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4400

690 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2160


PC Power and Cooling PPC-S500

Corsair TX650W

Cooler Master RS-850-EMBA

Hard Drives

Samsung HD501LJ 500 GB

WD Caviar Black 640 GB

2x Intel X25-M 80 GB SATA SSD
ICH10R RAID Controller Level 0


Integrated HD Audio

Integrated HD Audio

Asus SupremeFX X-Fi


Integrated Gigabit Networking

Integrated Gigabit Networking

Integrated Gigabit Networking

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Games


Version: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool

Supreme Commander
Forged Alliance

Version: 1.5.3599, Video Quality: Highest Settings, Demo: WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark: Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037

Unreal Tournament 3

Version: 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details: 5, Level Details: 5, Demo: vCTF-Reflection_bot, Time: 12/60

World in Conflict

Version:, Video Quality: Very High details, Demo: Game-Benchmark

Audio Encoding


Version:, Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min, Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s

Video Encoding


Version:, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.3

Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.1.3

Display encoding status=off

Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1
Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1

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), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core


Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9

Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8

Version: 8.0.134, Virus base: 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

Winrar 3.80

Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression=Best, Dictionary=4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Winzip 11

Version 11.2, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player

SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2

Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

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