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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: Value Compared

Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding

Budget builders often ask why AMD's processors rarely crop up in our $1000 builds, and iTunes helps illustrate the answer. At its 3.4 GHz overclocked frequency, the $500 build can’t compete with the $1000 build’s 3.30 GHz baseline. On top of that, the $1000 PC’s processor overclocks far better, easily passing the baseline of the $2000 build. AMD plans to correct this CPU performance deficit in its next architecture introduction.

HandBrake results are similar to iTunes, except that overclocking the $1000 PC results in far lower gains.

Does Intel Hyper-Threading technology hurt TMPGEnc performance? The $2000 PC falls behind the $1000 build at stock frequencies.

MainConcept reflects what we saw in HandBrake, with the overclocked $1000 machine edging out the $2000 system’s non-overclocked results. The $500 build is barely better than half as fast.

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