System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Benchmark Results: Audio/Video

Neither system impresses us all that much in single-threaded iTunes, especially when you consider our budget overclocking processor from two years ago, the Intel Pentium E5200, completed the job in just 53 seconds. The current processor’s L3 cache appears to have little impact, as results scale by CPU core speed almost exclusively.

Well-threaded HandBrake, however, paints a different picture, as the quad-core Phenom II at its stock 2.8 GHz is slightly faster than December’s nearly-3.9 GHz (overclocked) Athlon II X3.

Xvid transcoding time is similar between the two $500 Gaming PCs, both at stock frequencies and overclocked. However, the quad-core Phenom II appears the wiser choice for DivX-based workloads.

MainConcept results mimic those seen in DivX, racking up two more victories for the current PC.

  • tacoslave
    i think orange looks spiffy
  • abswindows7
    worst case in the world.
  • LuckyDucky7
    "I’ll certainly entertain the possibility of Intel’s newly-available Core i3-2100 for the next SBM."

    Have fun overclocking that rig!

    I'd choose my O/C'd i3-530 @ 3.75 GHz (stock, air-cooled) over any of the new Sandy Bridge offerings any day.
    The 2100 just cannot compete with that- it's marginally better than a first-gen i3, and it cannot be pushed harder.

    *Hopes Bulldozer will be ready by that time*
  • wolfram23
    Pretty darn good for $500!
  • Judguh
    Good Build!
  • hmp_goose
    Need the optical drive?
  • haplo602
    now finaly a low SBM build I like.

    ++ on the PSU (finaly not a 500W+ waste)
    + on the case (looks decent)
  • lunyone
    Pretty good build for the $. I would've gone with the Athlon x4 or x3 to keep things under budget, but that is just me. There are plenty of GPU options in the ~$170 price range. I think you might've got one of "those" GPU's that you read about. This is why "expecting" OC'ing abilities with whatever part you buy, shouldn't be taken for granted. Buy what you can afford and if you get a good OC on your parts, feel blessed:)
  • lunyone
    I would've taken the savings on the CPU and bought better RAM or maybe even a different case, but that is just nit picking a bit :)
  • one-shot
    Would someone please explain the point of comparing the old SBM to the new one if there isn't a list of the parts from the SBM done in the past? These have always been annoying when the reader is forced to look back to December for a detailed list of parts. This has been practiced for years here. It makes no sense comparing to something the reader has no idea as to the parts being used in the past. Seriously....

    Edit: Why Did I get a Minus one the second after my post was submitted?