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Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC

Stepping up from a dual-core Pentium to a quad-core Core i5 gets us massive gains in 3DMark 11. The Physics and Combined scores more than double, in turn yielding a substantial increase in the Overall 3DMark score.

Even the Graphics score, which is designed to isolate platform performance as much as possible, shows our stock Radeon HD 7850 jumping by nearly 12%.

The $600 rig’s lead in PCMark 7 increases once we take advantage of the Core i5-3350P’s limited overclocking. Because we're forced to rely on a mechanical drive spinning at 7,200 RPM yet again, storage performance remains similarly unimpressive for both machines.

Sandra's Arithmetic module promises great potential performance increases over the Pentium we used last quarter, while the inclusion of AES-NI favors the Core i5 even more when it comes to our Cryptography benchmark. And by ditching the Pentium’s DDR3-1333 limitation, this quarter's configuration enjoys a 20-40% increase in memory bandwidth.

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