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Benchmark Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $500 Gaming PC
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Boasting both a greater number of processing cores, as well as more powerful graphics hardware, it comes as no surprise that this quarter's gaming PC leads at all three of 3DMark11’s benchmark presets.

Really, the emphasis here is on graphics muscle though, so any boost to scoring should be most closely attributed to the Radeon HD 6870 we were able to fit in this quarter.

Based on how large of a spread we saw in the real-world tests, it's a bit surprising to see both machines place more closely in PCMark 7's Overall and Productivity suites. The AMD rig trails slightly in stock form, but manages a narrow victory once it's overclocked.

This quarter's machine drops off a bit in the hard drive tests, despite the use of a nearly identical mechanical drive. Storage performance has not been one of the stronger points for any of our AMD systems using this motherboard.

Overclocking brings victories to the Phenom II in the Arithemtic component of Sandra 2011. As we saw from the $500 Phenom II-based build from two quarters ago, the Int. x16 iSSE2 Multimedia score was only 40% of what we expected.

Memory data rates weren't increased on either $500 machine, but we were able to slightly increase realized bandwidth through tighter (CAS 8) timings.

Despite core speed and CPU-NB frequency overclocking, the AMD-based rig can’t come close to matching the bandwidth of our Sandy Bridge-based platform.

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