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Unlike most games, 3DMark shows a significant performance difference between the overclocked $1,500 and $3,000 machines. Because synthetic benchmarks don’t represent real-world performance differences, the results aren’t used in our final value assessment.
Poor hard drive performance results for the $1,500 PC can be partly attributed to its builder not using AHCI mode for the drive controller. Excellent results for the $3,000 PC’s drives were achieved thanks to the low latency and high bandwidth of its Level 0 (striped) SSD array.