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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $2000 Bonus Build

Test Settings

Test Hardware Configurations
Alternative $2000 PCOriginal $2000 PC
Motherboard (Overclock)MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155, Intel P67 ExpressNo BCLK OverclockAsus P8P67 WS Revolution LGA 1155, Intel P67 ExpressNo BCLK Overclock
Processor (Overclock)Intel Core i7-2600K 3.40 GHz, Four Physical CoresO/C to to 4.80 GHz, 1.40 VIntel Core i7-2600K 3.40 GHz, Four Physical CoresO/C to to 4.80 GHz, 1.40 V
Memory (Overclock)8 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V to DDR3-1600 CL 7-8-7-218 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.6 0V to DDR3-1866 CL 8-9-8-24
Graphics (Overclock)2 x MSI R6970-2PM2D2GD5 880 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-5500O/C to 950 MHz, GDDR5-58002 x XFX Radeon HD 6950 2 GB 800 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-5000O/C to 840 MHz, GDDR5-5300
Hard Drive2 x A-Data S599 SSD, Striped: 64 GB x 2 (128 GB Combined)
OpticalLite-On iHBS212 BD-RE: 12x BD-R, 16x DVD±R
CaseAntec Three Hundred Illusion
PowerSeasonic SS-850HT: 850 W, ATX12V v2.31, 80 PLUS Silver
CPU CoolerScythe Mugen 2 Rev. B (SCMG-2100)
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 11.2
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1021
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, 8x AA
F1 2010V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Just Cause 2Version 1.0.0.2, Built-In Benchmark "Concrete Jungle" Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF Test Set 2: Highest Details, 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 minutes Default format AAC
HandBrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1.0GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 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: MPEG-2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
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 (334MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8 Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.1.17.15, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.