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Overclocked System and Benchmark Configurations

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: Alternative $2000 Gaming PC

Test Hardware Configurations
 Alternative $2000 Gaming PCQ3 2012 $2000 PC
Intel Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge), 3.4 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.50 GHz, 1.25 V
Intel Core i7-3930K (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.2 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.32 V
EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR: 980 MHz GPU, GDDR5-6008
O/C to 1215 MHz GDDR5-6610
EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR: 980 MHz GPU, GDDR5-6008
O/C to 1301 MHz GDDR5-7048
8 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600, CAS 8-8-8-24
O/C at 1.65 V to DDR3-2000 CL 10-11-10-24
16 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600, CAS 8-8-8-24
O/C at 1.60 V to DDR3-2133 CL 10-11-10-24
Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3: LGA 1155, Intel Z77 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
ASRock X79 Extreme4: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
OpticalLite-On iHAS124 24x DVD±RAsus BW-12B1ST 16x BD-R
CaseAntec Eleven HundredNZXT Phantom 410
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper 212 EvoScythe Mugen 3 Rev. B SCMG-3100
Hard DriveMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerSeasonic SS-1050XM: 1050 W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS GoldSeasonic SS-850HT: 850 W, ATX12V, 80 PLUS Silver 
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 301.42
ChipsetIntel INF

Apart from the overclocking issues we ran into on the alternative gaming PC, which don't particularly reflect well on Ivy Bridge, this looks like a fair match between a big CPU with respectable graphics and a beefy graphics subsystem with a mainstream CPU. Since Ivy Bridge-based processors are expected to reach 4.6 GHz, we’ll make sure to keep the small clock rate deficiency for this particular sample in mind during our final value analysis.

Only three of our games could be made to work properly under Nvidia Surround's 5760x1080 graphics resolution, and Skyrim required a hack to correct its aspect ratio.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled
Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 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)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 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
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (650 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (650 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (650 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version:, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.10.17.80, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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