System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $1000 PC

Test Systems And Benchmarks

We compare our new build to the $1000 enthusiast system we put together for our last SBM in September 2010. The Intel Core i3-550/Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SLI combo should have a higher capacity for playable high-resolution graphics than the preceding Core i5-750/GeForce GTX 470 config. But the previous system’s quad-core CPU is expected to outperform our dual-core model in threaded productivity and transcoding applications.

$1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardASUS Sabertooth 55i
Chipset: Intel P55
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i3-550
3.2 GHz, Dual Core, 4 MB L3 Cache
4019 MHz at 1.35 V,
167.5 MHz BCLK
MemoryGeIL Black Dragon 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) SDRAM DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
DDR3-1004, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
Graphics2 x ECS NBGTX460 (SLI)
1 GB GDDR5-3700 Per Card
GeForce GTX 460 GPU at 765/1530 MHz core/shaders
GDDR5-3800
825/1650 MHz core/shaders
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB
7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLG 22x DVD – GH22LS50 OEM
22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseNZXT Gamma
Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Certified
Unchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC (From Previous SBM) Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX
LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset, BIOS 1003
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750
  2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache
3.75 GHz, 178 MHz Reference Clock 
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) SDRAM DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
DDR3-1070, CAS 8-8-8-22-1T
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470
1280 MB GDDR5-3348 Per Card
607/1215 MHz GPU/Shaders, 837 MHz Mem
GDDR5-4500
690/1380 MHz GPU/Shaders, 845 MHz Mem
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 640 GB
7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS124
24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS Certified
Unchanged


And here's a list of the benchmarks:

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
DiRT 2
In-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2
Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
Call of Pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes
Version: 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
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 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 1.6.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)
Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s)
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407
Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra,
Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
This thread is closed for comments
116 comments
    Your comment
  • AMW1011
    I can't say I'm impressed this time. You should never have went with a clarksdale, they are simply bad. Getting a more reasonably priced motherboard, cutting another $20 from the HDD and PSU, and an i5 750, would have been much better.

    Still, we have more information than before so I can't complain.
  • Poisoner
    That PSU only has 2 PCI-E hook ups. So you'll have to use adapters in this build. Pathetic.
  • ivan_chess
    The CPU choice was a little disappointing this time around. A Core i5 or even a comparably priced AMD processor would have done much better (especially in productivity because four cores are typically better than two).
  • adbat
    I think it would be good to include previous build in the test system page it would make comparison easier.
  • duk3
    1 tb 7200.12 hard drive?
    GTX 570? (debatable)
    Cheaper motherboard, maybe not supporting SLI if gtx 570 is taken over 460 sli?
    $50 corsair ddr3 1600?
    i5 760 with these savings?
  • Core2uu
    I think we're missing the point of including the Core i3 in this month's build. The purpose was to explore the CPU bottle-necking that can be observed on today's common applications because threading implementation has managed to find itself actually put into effect. Throwing in an i5 760 would have been too predictable and too boring. This puts perspective on the fact that dual-cores matched with high clock speeds are no longer the performance kings as was true more than a year ago.
  • scrumworks
    Tom's nvidia -line continues. No surprises there.
  • amirp
    like they said in the previous article even the 6000 series radeons weren't out when they made these articles,
    reading comprehensions noobs
  • amirp
    *comprehension
  • sudeshc
    Not impressed, could have been better.
  • clownbaby
    add space is getting out of control on this site.
  • clownbaby
    worst i3 overclock ever. And a 750gb wd black? Waste! You could get a faster 1tb samsung for less.

    I normally enjoy these builds, but this is among the worst I've seen. For ~$10 you probably could have gotten a ddr3 1600 kit, not to mention money could have been saved on the motherboard. And with a measly 4ghz overclock, you can probably return the aftermarket cooler and get your money back.
  • tacoslave
    amirplike they said in the previous article even the 6000 series radeons weren't out when they made these articles,reading comprehensions noobs

    derp
  • exr
    nice
  • amdfangirl
    Two GTX 460s... with a dual-core... serious?
  • bigmantenor
    ...Cable...Management...
  • shrapnel_indie
    a dual-core i3 eh? Why not have tried a dual-core i5-655k? I know, more expensive... but I know some people out there may see "i5" and think that they are all the same. (n00bs, who haven't educated themselves yet.)

    The Intel Core i5-655K Clarkdale 3.2GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor ( NewEgg p/n BX80616I5655K ) is the same price as the Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor ( NewEgg p/n BX80605I5750 ) at the time of this post.
  • dirtmountain
    I enjoyed this build, i don't see the sense in always using the same CPU, case,GPU combos. By changing to the i5, using the NZXT case, the 460 1GB in SLI you give your readers something different to consider and not the same old, same old. Good work and good builds in both the $2,000 and $1,000 SBMs.
  • freshnbaked
    WOW look at what I just put together from my local hub, Microcenter, I have a I7-950, 460sli, with blueray player, but the 70 buck from the blueray player could of took me to 8gb of 1600mhz ram.

    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA ---49.99
    Micro Center 4GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) CL9 Desktop ---49.99
    Samsung SH-B123L 12X BD Combo Drive ---49.99
    x2-Palit NE5TX460FHD79 GeForce GTX 460 ---329.98
    Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz Boxed Processor ---199.99
    Diablotek PHD Series 650 Watt ATX12V Power Supply ---39.99
    PowerSpec Powerspec TX366 ATX Case ---17.98
    Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 X58 ATX Intel MotherBoard ---184.99

    for a grand total of ---999.48


    It would blow that PoS they built away, let me at them!

    Ps. if I were to spend it, I would say F the blue ray player and the I7-950 and get the I7-870 for 229.99 and the 97.99 X-fire mobo and go for 2 5850's with 8gbs of 1600 mhz ram. But what do I know ")
  • jj463rd
    FreshnbakedWOW look at what I just put together from my local hub, Microcenter, I have a I7-950, 460sli, with blueray player, but the 70 buck from the blueray player could of took me to 8gb of 1600mhz ram. Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA ---49.99Micro Center 4GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) CL9 Desktop ---49.99Samsung SH-B123L 12X BD Combo Drive ---49.99x2-Palit NE5TX460FHD79 GeForce GTX 460 ---329.98Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz Boxed Processor ---199.99Diablotek PHD Series 650 Watt ATX12V Power Supply ---39.99PowerSpec Powerspec TX366 ATX Case ---17.98Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 X58 ATX Intel MotherBoard ---184.99for a grand total of ---999.48It would blow that PoS they built away, let me at them! Ps. if I were to spend it, I would say F the blue ray player and the I7-950 and get the I7-870 for 229.99 and the 97.99 X-fire mobo and go for 2 5850's with 8gbs of 1600 mhz ram. But what do I know ")

    It's from Microcenter (and in store only option for the CPU and perhaps some other parts).The nearest one from me is thousands of miles away in the continental U.S.A.
    Toms Hardware I believe only will do a build from parts that are readily available for everyone.
  • freshnbaked
    and for the 500 dollar build, check this out, I might buy one for X-mas for fun. Again from microcenter, the AMD 560 x2BE comes with a free Mobo for a special that had been around for about 7 months. So its just kind of a standing offer instead of a deal now.

    Cooler Master USP 100 ATX Case with eXtreme 550W PS ---59.99
    AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition Boxed Processor ---99.99
    MSI 785GM-P45 AM3 785G mATX Motherboard --- 0.00
    x2-HIS H575FN1GD Radeon HD 5750 1GB ---219.98
    Micro Center 4GB DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) ---49.99
    CD-RW Internal Optical Drive ---9.99
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 7,200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s ---44.99

    for a grand total of ---499.93

    The mobo supports X-fire and core unlocking, so 4 cores oc'd around 3.814ghz which my old one did stable. And Oc'd 5750's should be sufficient to knock off any other 500 dollar computer out there. you could also save 5-6 bucks with a 320gb HD. With the case supplied PSU and the bundle pack, its almost unbeatable. I
  • freshnbaked
    Lol, Microcenter is not a small shop, they do ship internationally. It's like walmart but for computers only.
  • freshnbaked
    and with refurb's and open box items they have available, you could really sqeeze in some power in there. But it's risky in the sense I wouldn't be able to afford to re buy stuff everytime it started on fire, lost data, or w/e reason it was returned for.
  • Tamz_msc
    Looks like going form quad core to dual core really hurts.