System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Benchmark Results: Crysis And Just Cause 2


At high details, Crysis appears CPU-limited below 1920x1080 with the highest frame rates seen at 1280x1024. The stock March PC delivers roughly the same level of performance as December’s best overclocking efforts.

Finding acceptable performance at Very High details required overclocking the December PC, which put it roughly on par with the current stock machine. Unfortunately, 1680x1050 is still stretching the new machine’s capabilities, as disappointing GPU overclocking only yielded a 1.6 FPS increase.

Just Cause 2

The Concrete Jungle test included with the full version of Just Cause 2 is far more demanding than the demo’s benchmark, giving a more realistic indication of what hardware this game requires.

Struggling at our highest test settings, the December PC seems better suited for a mix of medium and high details. The current build fares better, but at the highest details, is still limited to either lower resolutions or reduced levels of AA.

  • 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?