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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 P55Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i3-5503.2 GHz, Dual Core, 4 MB L3 Cache4019 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 7-7-7-24-1TDDR3-1004, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
Graphics2 x ECS NBGTX460 (SLI) 1 GB GDDR5-3700 Per CardGeForce GTX 460 GPU at 765/1530 MHz core/shadersGDDR5-3800 825/1650 MHz core/shaders
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG 22x DVD – GH22LS50 OEM22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROMUnchanged
CaseNZXT GammaUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS CertifiedUnchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC (From Previous SBM) Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset, BIOS 1003Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750  2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache3.75 GHz, 178 MHz Reference Clock
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) SDRAM DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1TDDR3-1070, CAS 8-8-8-22-1T
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470 1280 MB GDDR5-3348 Per Card 607/1215 MHz GPU/Shaders, 837 MHz MemGDDR5-4500 690/1380 MHz GPU/Shaders, 845 MHz Mem
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 640 GB 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS12424x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROMUnchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS CertifiedUnchanged

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 2In-game benchmarkTest Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AATest Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AATest Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of PripyatS.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark versionTest Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AATest 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
iTunesVersion: x64Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 minDefault format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob filefrom "The Last Samurai" (1 GB) to .mp4 High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2) Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7MB TIF ImageRadial 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: 270.14.1/2407Benchmark: 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=8Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • 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
  • sudeshc
    Not impressed, could have been better.