System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

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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112 comments
    Your comment
  • americanherosandwich
    That is one funky looking case. Great $1k system!
    2
  • toxxel
    That case is a behemoth.
    2
  • dirtmountain
    After seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
    8
  • cangelini
    dirtmountainAfter seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.


    LOL
    3
  • Darkerson
    Crazy looking case, but nice system overall!
    0
  • _Pez_
    for 1k usd seems to be a cheap system.. hmm nice review, is good to see that new processors are really efficient even when overclocked ..to bad about the 22cm cooler of the side panel of that funny case. My Armor+ has exactly the same issue with a V6gt cooler and I decided to go back to my hyper212+ :D.
    3
  • ava__
    you forgot to add the cost of your beloved Windows
    -5
  • Crashman
    cangeliniLOL
    Huh?
    0
  • Mark Heath
    Anonymous said:
    Huh?

    Good to see the Tom's team is on the same page XD
    3
  • AkIRA_22
    that has to be the ugliest case I've ever seen in my life. At the end of the day the case is 100% taste, to 'recommend' a case is futile.
    2
  • skora
    Just for testing purposes, could that 220mm fan have been mounted on the outside of the case, to see if its worth buying a slimmer fan with that extra $24 in the budget?
    4
  • gti88
    Strange results in games. 460 1gb SLI is equal to gtx580 in Crysis, but in this article two 460gtx show the same performance as 6950...
    0
  • Luay
    Amazing value. This machine can do rip trough anything @ 1920x1200. I like how you're keeping your eyes open on mobos yet to appear;
    Asrok P67 Extreme4, MSI P67 GD45, Intel Boxdp67bg, Asus P67Pro, Gigabyte P67UD4: Cheapest SLI/CF x8 w/3slot-for-each-card-boards out there. Only one can be the best. My bet is on Intel.

    6950 all the way and nothing less, not even to fit in a SSD.

    For $10 more, I would pick the Inwin Dragon Slayer for bigger size, 4 fans, meshed covers (Princess Leia's daddy).

    Another $10 for the Corsair TX650 Version 2.0, but that was just released 3 weeks ago.
    1
  • iam2thecrowe
    i think i said this in the last build....modular PSU please, especially since you had a bit of money you had left over. OCZ do some good ones.
    0
  • eddieroolz
    I saw the case, and it made me instantly awaken. Not quite sure how to explain it - though it does come down to personal taste anyway.

    As for some of the gaming benchmarks, it's really a mixed bag. Sandy Bridge/6950 rules at 1080p & lower but anything higher seems to be in the domain of the dual Nvidia cards. Though the Core i3 was a really extreme compromise.

    Now waiting for the AMD build to show up!
    1
  • JohnMD1022
    UGGGGGHHHHH-ly casr
    -3
  • pelov
    eddieroolzI saw the case, and it made me instantly awaken. Not quite sure how to explain it - though it does come down to personal taste anyway.As for some of the gaming benchmarks, it's really a mixed bag. Sandy Bridge/6950 rules at 1080p & lower but anything higher seems to be in the domain of the dual Nvidia cards. Though the Core i3 was a really extreme compromise. Now waiting for the AMD build to show up!


    That has to do with the way certain games are programmed and made to prefer certain architecture over another. it's not exactly the fault of the video cards.
    0
  • JohnMD1022
    I have to learn to spell 'case'... lol

    Seagate drive? No way... pure junk.
    -2
  • dalta centauri
    JohnMD1022I have to learn to spell 'case'... lolSeagate drive? No way... pure junk.

    Nothing wrong with a seagate drive...as an external HDD. Never used one as an internal though.
    The case itself looks real good, and hopefully efficient at cooling. Although I must say, it looks like a 'gaming' case that was first built around early 2000. I personally like it though, it looks quite unique.
    -1
  • luis1
    Just pulled the trigger on this system.. trumps your 1K system..
    For 820.00 shipped..

    http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Special-B/w/62031
    -5