Though today’s system did not provide the advanced performance we sought in the majority of tests, it did very well where it was expected to. That is, its high-resolution gaming capabilities were noticeably improved. Small losses in a few other benchmarks offset its lower cost, ending in a value match between systems.
Yet, high-resolution gaming was the only place we really wanted the extra performance. Comparing price only to 2560x1600 gaming performance gives us a different value perspective.
Choosing a cheaper motherboard and more expensive graphics cards allowed us to find targeted gains in high-end gaming, but there were some sacrifices. For example, the previous motherboard supported four-way CrossFire (three-way with our case limitations), while the new board would be limited to two-way CrossFire. The new motherboard’s memory overclocking capability was also slightly inferior, leading to small performance losses in various other tests.
While we were completely satisfied with our original $2000 PC and only mildly disappointed with the Hand-Picked Build, we still would like to recommend the latter, especially for our gaming audience. Though it might have been a tough choice in light of today’s test results, the fact that some components of our original build are popular, and hard to keep stocked, made this one an easy pick.
Now when you win the second PC, there will be no need for sadness: You can upgrade it with the motherboard from the first!
This is why the SBM is the best thing going. A few other sites do similar articles, but Tom's is far and away the champion. Another well respected site doesn't even build the systems, but Tom's builds three (or four!) and gives 'em away like sweet delicious candy. Every build has its's own quirks, issues, and performance wins (losses too) that can't always be understood until the gear arrives and goes together. If system building was entirely predictable, no one would build their own. It's just more fun this way.
Anyway, i never understood why intel went with just 16 lanes on SB yet all the mobo makers market their ultra high end cross fire boards. :pt1cable:
Thing I'm wondering is, if intel switched to 24 lanes, could the graphics cards work at 12x each for 2 way, and 8x for 3 way? i know a full 32 lanes is unlikely, that's why I'm asking.