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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

Current $500 PC System Test Configuration
ComponentBase SettingsOverclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium G850 (Sandy Bridge), 2.9 GHz, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache, Power-saving features enabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink and FanUnchanged
MotherboardASRock H77 Pro4/MVP, Intel H77 Express, BIOS P1.40 (09-21-2012)Unchanged
RAM8 GB G.Skill DDR-1333 Kit 2 x 4 GB, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.585 VDDR3-1333, CL 7-8-7-22 1T at 1.6 V
GraphicsPowerColor AX7850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7850 860 MHz GPU, 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s) Memory1200 MHz GPU @ 1.205 V, 1310 MHz (5240 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD3200AAKX 320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalLG 24x GH24NS90-OEM DVD BurnerUnchanged
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 12.10Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v. 9.3.1025Unchanged
August $500 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium G860 (Sandy Bridge), 3.0 GHz, LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3, Power-saving features enabledUnchanged
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heat Sink and FanUnchanged
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B75M-D3V, Intel B75 Express, BIOS F5 (03-27-2012)Unchanged
RAM4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 Kit 2 x 2 GB, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 VUnchanged
GraphicsMSI N560GTX-M2D1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 810 MHz GPU, 1002 MHz (4008 MT/s) Memory950 MHz GPU @ 1.050 V, 1102.5 MHz (4410 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD5000AAKX 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated Eight-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec VP-450 450 WUnchanged
OpticalSamsung 22x SH-222BB/BEBE-OEM DVD BurnerUnchanged
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverGeForce R300 Driver v.300.42Unchanged
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v. 9.3.1019Unchanged
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Version 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11, 90-sec. FRAPS "Going Hunting" Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Elders Scroll V: SkyrimVersion 1.8.151.07, Version 1.6.89.06 (Aug.), 25-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48 000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677, MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Best Method, ZIPX Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Entry, Performance, Extreme Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Version: 2012 SP5c-1872, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • killerchickens
    $501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    killerchickens$501 Plus $100 for a copy of windows 7.Run Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
    Reply
  • willyroc
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    CrashmanRun Linux, this is a hardware shootout.
    Linux for a gaming desktop I dont think so.
    Reply
  • willyroc
    Not to mention that the 500GB version of the HDD is only $3 more.
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    Our best alternative remained the quad-core Phenom II X4 995 Black Edition for $95. But we chose not to revisit this old favorite, figuring that adding a Radeon HD 7850 would have taxed our budget.
    What about the Phenom II 965? It's only $75 at TigerDirect.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Why is Windows 8 Professional being used?
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9539399 said:
    I personally feel that they could have gone with H61 and gotten a 2GB 7850 instead.

    I think they'd be better off with a B75 motherboard, 4GB RAM and an i3-3220.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    I am not very comfortable using windows8 in these benches. Reason : Drivers have not yet matured for win8. I would have waited for the next quarter SBM before using win8.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Windows is free and we use Linux in are gaming Machines what are we in Soviet Russia .
    Reply