Page 1:Our High-End Build Evolves
Page 2:Graphics, CPU, And Memory
Page 3:Motherboard, Case, And Power
Page 4:CPU And Motherboard Cooling
Page 5:An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
Page 6:Hardware Installation
Page 8:Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
Page 9:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 10:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 11:Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
Page 12:Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
Page 13:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 14:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 15:Results: Productivity
Page 16:Results: File Compression
Page 17:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 18:A Gaming Build That Works Hard
An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
Readers recommended a change in CPU and graphics, so I tried to keep the other performance-oriented aspects of this build as close to the previous effort as possible. Since system drive performance is among our measurements, the previous machine’s SSD remains.
System Drive: SanDisk Ultra Plus SDSSDHP-256G-G25
It’s no longer mentioned in our Best SSDs For The Money column, but that’s probably because a competing model dropped to $200.
The SanDisk Ultra Plus is still an attractive deal at $170 though, placed between Tiers 1 and 3 in both performance and price. No Tier 2 products made the recommended list, though the guide’s editor seemed to have other priorities.
Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB
SSD-equipped systems usually run out of capacity long before you start piling on your collection of movies, music, and pictures. A hard drive assumes the role of mass storage for stuff that doesn’t get used as often and isn't performance-sensitive.
Even though it sports a 7200 RPM spindle speed and 64 MB of cache, we’re not expecting any speed records from the ST2000DM001. But it does give us a lot of storage space for $90. Better still (for me), this optional component isn’t tested by our benchmark suite.
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124
I’ve always believed that a high-end build should have the flexibility to support multiple media formats, which is why I usually equip these machines with a Blu-ray writer. Unfortunately, the original order price of our other components didn’t leave room in the budget for that this time.
Able to burn DVD media at 24x and read my driver discs before I could get online to look for update, Lite-On’s iHAS124 is a low-cost solution to a problem that some of our readers don't have. Still, I consider the $20 spend to be worthwhile.
- Our High-End Build Evolves
- Graphics, CPU, And Memory
- Motherboard, Case, And Power
- CPU And Motherboard Cooling
- An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
- Hardware Installation
- Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- A Gaming Build That Works Hard