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Test System And Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC
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We're skipping the relatively unsuccessful Core i3 build we put together in December 2010 when it comes to comparing synthetic and application benchmark results. Instead, we’re using our build from September 2010's SBM. The new Core i5-2500K/Radeon HD 6950 combo is an interesting competitor for September’s Core i5-750/GeForce GTX 470 system, and the results below show how much the new Sandy bridge CPU changes versus that Core i5-700- series-based build.

For gaming, we include December's Core i3 system and its dual GeForce GTX 460 graphics muscle. We’re in the middle of upgrading our SBM gaming suite, so two of the new game titles we’re using don’t include the Core i5-750/GeForce GTX 470 system we built back in September.

Current $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4
LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipset
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache
4400 MHz at 1.3 V
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-20-1T
Unchanged
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950
  2 GB GDDR5 @ 1250 MHz
1408-shader Cayman GPU @ 800 MHz
GDDR5 @ 1300 MHz
GPU modded to 1536 shaders @ 880 MHz
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB
1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST
24x DVD Burner
Unchanged
CaseIn-Win Android
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
Unchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings (December 2010)
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus Sabertooth 55i
Chipset: Intel P55
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i3-550
3.2 GHz, Dual-Core, 4 MB L3 Cache
4019 MHz at 1.35 V,
167.5 MHz BCLK
MemoryGeIL Black Dragon 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
DDR3-1004, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
Graphics2 x ECS NBGTX460 (SLI)
1 GB GDDR5-3700 Per Card
GeForce GTX 460 GPU at 765/1530 MHz core/shaders
GDDR5-3800
825/1650 MHz core/shaders
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLG 22x DVD-GH22LS50 OEM
22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseNZXT Gamma
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-Certified
Unchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC (September 2010)
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX
LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset, BIOS 1003
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750
  2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache
3.75 GHz, 178 MHz Reference Clock 
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
DDR3-1070, CAS 8-8-8-22-1T
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470
1280 MB GDDR5-3348 Per Card
607/1215 MHz GPU/Shaders, 837 MHz Mem
GDDR5-4500
690/1380 MHz GPU/Shaders, 845 MHz Mem
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 640 GB
7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS124
24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS-Certified
Unchanged


And here's a list of the benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
DiRT 2
In-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2
Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
Call of Pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Just Cause 2
In-game benchmark: Concrete Jungle
Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
F1 2010
In-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes
Version: 9.0.2.25 x64
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
HandBrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file
from "The Last Samurai" (1 GB) to .mp4
High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292
Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1
MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2)
Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s)
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407
Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra,
Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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