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Benchmark Results: Synthetics

System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2009: $700 Gaming PC
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Some sizable gains are seen from our overclocking efforts, especially in the CPU-weighted performance preset. The increase seen in the extreme preset reflects more upon overclocking the Radeon HD 4870.

Sporting the stronger pair of graphics cards, the December $700 PC totally blows out the September $650 PC in 3DMark Vantage, although the Phenom II X2 550 does scores a win at stock speeds in the CPU score. 

Overclocking provides huge gains for this month’s budget gaming PC compared to those seen from last month. The December PC takes a small victory both at stock and overclocked speeds in the HDD test, but loses both times in the productivity test. In the overall system score, this month’s system is no match at stock clocks, but takes a large victory once overclocked. 

Overclocking rewards us with sizeable performance increases in each Sandra 2009 test. Keep in mind our memory speed and timings did not change, so increases in memory bandwidth stem from our higher-clocked FSB and CPU. Despite a benchmark version change between SBMs, it’s safe to say that this memory bandwidth pales in comparison to the on-die memory controller of the Phenom II used in September.

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