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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

 

Current $500 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
ComponentBase SettingsOverclock Setting
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 925 (Deneb), 2.8 GHz, 1.35 V 2000 MT/s HyperTransport Link, 2000 MT/s CPU-NB, 6 MB L3 Cache3.402 GHz (14 x 243 MHz), 1.3 V 1944 MT/s HT Link, 2187 MT/s CPU-NB
CPU CoolerAMD boxed heatsink/fan, 60-100% target  RPM80-100% target RPM
MotherboardASRock M3A770DE AMD 770/SB710, BIOS P1.70 (09/17/10)Unchanged
RAM4 GB G.Skill PC3-10600 Kit 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 VDDR3-1296, CL 8-8-8-24 1T at 1.59 V
GraphicsSapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1 GB 775 MHz GPU, 1000 MHz (4000 MT/s) Memory800 MHz GPU, 1100 MHz (4400 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveSamsung Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated 7.1-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec EarthWatts Green 380 W Unchanged
OpticalLite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS 124-04Unchanged
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 11.1Unchanged
Platform DriverAMD All-in-1 Ver. 8.631_W7_logoUnchanged
December 2010 $500 PC System Test Configuration
ComponentBase SettingsOverclock Setting
CPUAMD Athlon II X3 445 (Rana), 3.1 GHz, 1.3 V 2000 MT/s HyperTransport Link, 2000 MT/s CPU-NB, No L3 Cache3.875 GHz (15.5 x 250 MHz), 1.4 V 2000 MT/s HT Link, 2250 MT/s CPU-NB
CPU CoolerRosewill RCX-ZAIO-92Unchanged
MotherboardASRock M3A770DE AMD 770/SB710, BIOS P1.60 (06/08/10)Unchanged
RAM4 GB Mushkin PC3-10600 Kit 996586 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 VDDR3-1333, CL 9-9-9-24 1T at 1.5 V
GraphicsSparkle SXX460768D5UNM GeForce GTX 460 768 MB 675/1350 MHz GPU/Shaders, 900 MHz (3600 MT/s) Memory823/1640 MHz GPU/Shaders, 1050 MHz (4200 MT/s) GDDR5 Memory
Hard DriveSamsung Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320 GB, 7200 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated 7.1-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerAntec EarthWatts Green 380 W Unchanged
OpticalLite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS 124-04Unchanged
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate Edition x64Unchanged
Graphics DriverNvidia 260.99 WHQLUnchanged
Platform DriverAMD All-in-1 Ver. 8.631_W7_logoUnchanged
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
F1 2010V.1.01, Direct X 11, -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x AA
Just Cause 2Steam Version, Built-in Benchmark "Concrete Jungle" Test Set 1: Custom Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 8x AA, 16x AF
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion:9.0.2.25 x64 Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4 Convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XpressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version 11.0 Extended (64-bit) Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates filters
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Entry, Performance, Extreme Suite
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.2.17.36, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • tacoslave
    i think orange looks spiffy
    Reply
  • abswindows7
    worst case in the world.
    Reply
  • 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*
    Reply
  • wolfram23
    Pretty darn good for $500!
    Reply
  • Judguh
    Good Build!
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    Need the optical drive?
    Reply
  • haplo602
    now finaly a low SBM build I like.

    ++ on the PSU (finaly not a 500W+ waste)
    + on the case (looks decent)
    Reply
  • 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:)
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply