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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: Value Compared

Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra

Sandra’s Arithmetic test pushes every physical core to its limit, so we’d expect the 3.3 GHz Sandy Bridge-based $1000 PC to have similar results to the 3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge-based $2000 machine. Likewise, we wouldn’t expect the $2000 machine’s Hyper-Threading technology (logical cores) to provide much benefit. Actual results crush our expectations.

Sandra's Multimedia test only closes the gap between $1000 and $2000 builds slightly.

The difference between CAS 9 and CAS 7 timing shouldn’t be enough to account for the wide variation in DDR3-1333 performance, yet the $500 machine falls far behind the $1000 build. The $2000 machine starts off with DDR3-1600 CAS 8, and overclocking allows it to reach DDR3-1866 at similar timings.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.