System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $2,500 Performance PC

Power, Heat, And Efficiency

We mentioned earlier that the 1,000W power supply was probably a bad choice, since the 850W version was cheaper and had a higher efficiency rating. Let’s see how far overboard we went.

At our maximum overclock and with an unrealistically high load of three threads of Prime95 and with the fourth CPU core dedicated to FurMark's full-load graphics test, the overclocked configuration consumed a mere 879W from the wall. At our power supply’s approximate 82% efficiency (see chart), we really only needed a power supply with around 720W capacity. Thus, the super-efficient 80 PLUS Gold rated Corsair CMPSU-850HX could have been a great choice while providing enough extra power capability to support future upgrades.

Heat change from overclocking was minimized through increased fan speed.

With an average performance gain of 17% and an average power increase of 20%, the system loses 2% overall efficiency.

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    Top Comments
  • burnley14
    Just thinking about winning this system in the giveaway gets me excited.
    18
  • WINTERLORD
    now that is one slick gaming machine! could'nt imagine them frames rates on a big monitor. love the insides water cooling 3 radeon 4890's with room for a 4th. great pictures by the way lots of eye candy. you can tell alot of work went into tis kmonster. great article.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • burnley14
    Just thinking about winning this system in the giveaway gets me excited.
    18
  • jj463rd
    Me too this is an awesome build.
    8
  • DjEaZy
    ... do the video compression using ATi Streem...
    0
  • Anonymous
    The Quality of video on ATI streem is shit on sticks and doesn't even support high profile.

    The last build was a bit too odd for me but this one seems like a very nice chose of parts and on a larger screen set up makes a lot of sense the loss of i7 for AMD only build was a bit sad but the addition of those great SSD kind of makes up for me along with the nice chose of case and cooling. That case looks like it is very nice to work on.
    -7
  • dirtmountain
    The Corsair CMPSU-850HX is rated Silver, not Gold. Nice build, good results, great work.
    -4
  • Anonymous
    @Dirtman

    http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_detail.aspx?id=25&type=2

    Check your sources because you have it wrong

    CMPSU-850HX ATX12V 850 90.38% Gold
    1
  • one-shot
    Please don't call RAID 1 a backup solution.
    -9
  • dirtmountain
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011

    Newegg says differently. I did check sources.
    0
  • dirtmountain
    So does Jonnyguru
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story2&reid=153
    I guess you just can't believe everything you find on a brands site.
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    now that is one slick gaming machine! could'nt imagine them frames rates on a big monitor. love the insides water cooling 3 radeon 4890's with room for a 4th. great pictures by the way lots of eye candy. you can tell alot of work went into tis kmonster. great article.
    10
  • IzzyCraft
    dirtmountainhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139011Newegg says differently. I did check sources.

    You going to believe newegg a site that is known to make mistakes in labeling products over the actual official site of the group that freaking does the testing and certification
    http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_detail.aspx?id=25&type=2

    http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_reports/CORSAIR_CMPSU-850HX_ECOS%201464_850W_Report.pdf

    It's gold...
    0
  • eddieroolz
    The overclock was disappointing, but it seems to be one capable system!

    Anyone who wins this has an awesome rig on their hands!
    2
  • IzzyCraft
    I'm sure anyone that wins any of the rigs will be quite happy and hopefully happy enough to post pictures and other things on the forums.
    1
  • Proximon
    Your PSU calculations do not include transient loads, which happen too quickly to measure on a Kill-a-watt. 1000HX was the better choice.

    Either water cool the GPUs or use a case with better air flow. Perhaps 90C is within spec (although I'm not aware of any published official max temps for 4890s)but it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

    What's with the limited choice for a case anyway? You seem to want to experiment? CM Storm Scout has handles, or Lian Li Lancool has great air cooling and radiator hose grommets.

    I did like the inclusion of the Swiftech kit.
    2
  • one-shot
    Corsair says it's Silver

    http://www.corsair.com/products/hx850/default.aspx

    So...I guess it's really Gold?

    (sarcasm)
    0
  • tipmen
    I only fear what a QuadFire 5870 would bring if a tri 4890s does this much damage. Thanks for doing AMD it may not be the best CPU but its always nice to see a change.
    3
  • Crashman
    dirtmountainSo does Jonnyguruhttp://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.p [...] 2&reid=153I guess you just can't believe everything you find on a brands site.


    80 plus is an independant rating site, the 850HX was upgraded to Gold status so unless you're using an old unit you should be fine.

    ProximonWhat's with the limited choice for a case anyway? You seem to want to experiment? CM Storm Scout has handles, or Lian Li Lancool has great air cooling and radiator hose grommets.I did like the inclusion of the Swiftech kit.


    This editor never uses external radiators because they're too easily damaged, ugly, and make transportation difficult. The only choice not mentioned was the HAF932: There's one in the lab, it's enormous and cheaply built.

    Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the ventilation of the case used. It's remarkable. It's darned near perfect. The GPU's run hot for two reasons: HD 4890's are horribly inefficient and there's not much space between them.

    The other option would have been to face the PSU fan towards the cards so it could draw warm air away from them.
    4
  • WINTERLORD
    this thing is truely alswome anyway you slice it. eye candy galore, and im sure anyone who won this thing would be more then happy. and what makes this beast realy shine is how much performance it gets not only in gaming but alswome productivity/ap[plication scores as well. all the way around it is alswome. also very interesting to see AMD parts stacking up like this in a high end gaming. very interesting.
    0
  • masterjaw
    "Happy birthday", "Happy Halloween", "Merry Christmas", and "Happy New Year" to the lucky one who would get his hands on this one.
    2
  • anamaniac
    Wow...
    I would take this over your last $2,500 Intel system no doubt!
    This thing is a work of art.

    Excellent work.
    Wait wait wait... why would I want a phenom when i have a i7? I don't know, but this system is that cool.

    I love the case used on it too. Tri-4890, 2x80GB SSD etc. even on a 2.5k budget is admirable.
    Making me wonder were all the money on my build went...

    Also nice to see a cheap motherboard being promoted. I paid over $300 for my mobo, and I regret it (good overclocking mobo... crappy overclocker cpu). >_<


    Keep up the good work.
    1