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System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $500 PC

Benchmark Results: Synthetics


We start off with two very similar platforms, sporting the same motherboard, processor architecture, memory frequency, and timings. The stock December rig holds a 100 MHz processor advantage and is outfitted with double the amount of memory.

The overclocked $500 build has nearly a 500 MHz advantage in processor speed, while the prior rig benefited both from an added active processing core, as well as higher memory bandwidth.

The stock-clocked CPU scores are within 3% of one another, so this story focuses on the current build’s vastly more powerful graphics hardware. Successful core unlocking scores the $400 machine a 15% higher score in the CPU tests. But this does little overall to help overcome the graphics deficiency.

The overclocked $500 PC is edged out in overall system performance but manages to win in PCMark's productivity suite. The current build’s storage performance score was a bit disappointing to us.