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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: Value Compared

Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding

Apple iTunes is both poorly threaded and well-optimized for Intel's architecture, putting the $1000 system in the lead.

Hand it to the open-source community to optimize for AMD and multiple cores, with HandBrake handing the $2000 six-core build its rightful place in the performance curve.

DivX appears to take threading a little more seriously than Xvid, and the $1000 system comes out better, on average.

Scaling up to a truly professional encoder, MainConcept uses the $2000 system’s six cores effectively. Unlocking the $400 system’s fourth core makes it a true contender against the mid-priced PC.

  • karma831
    oops double post...

    Anyways, I didn't really like the builds this SBM but I learned quite a bit. Thanks for the great read.
    Reply
  • Yeah the $2000 system did not make much sense. Only spending 10% of your build money on the CPU seems wrong. The two GTX480s and Nvidia mobo was bizarre. I guess they felt they had to throw the AMD CPU guys a bone. The lack of a solid state drive in a $2000 build was also odd to me. Which could be explained if your going after raw gaming power, where they did with the dual 480s, but then they gimped it with that AMD cpu. Why pair dual GTX 480s with a Phenom Hexacore; which are subpar for anything that uses 4 threads or less. For the same $2000, I think you would get a much better system with a core i7 950, 6gb of ddr3 1600, a 120gb SSD, and 2 GTX 460 1gb.
    Reply
  • HibyPrime
    I usually skip over the power and efficiency pages of the high-end SBM build, because the power usage is mostly irrelevant for such a high-end build... but when I saw it in the efficiency comparison...

    ONE KILOWATT? seriously!?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    stm1185For the same $2000, I think you would get a much better system with a core i7 950, 6gb of ddr3 1600, a 120gb SSD, and 2 GTX 460 1gb.-1 for the SSD comments since these have always hurt the system's overall score in the benchmark-based value analysis.
    Reply
  • avatar_raq
    One of the odd things encountered in the $2000 build is the results of Dirt2. This game bears the AMD logo, and in one benchmark the intel system scored almost double!! OMG!! AMD guys really need to do something about their CPUs and their relations to game developers.
    Reply
  • SLI does not seems to work in AMD system or it is throttling.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    MayPSLI does not seems to work in AMD system or it is throttling.The CPU is throttling the rest of the system. Most of the benchmarks show a CPU-capped pattern.
    Reply
  • I'd like to have seen CS5 tests rather than CS4, considering you're using a Win 7 x64 build.
    Reply
  • "The CPU is throttling the rest of the system. Most of the benchmarks show a CPU-capped pattern."

    There is noway i5 can be twice as fast as x6. Simply no way. Something is wrong. Unless there is an artificial limitation in the SLI board to prevent it running faster than that. Even 5670 is closer to SLI 480. Simply Dirt2 benchmark is wrong. And I sense SLI is not working. Better to try with Cross Fire setup.
    Reply
  • avatar_raq
    TheCapulet it's just plain unbelievable that the builder didn't do his homework. If you read the article thoroughly you would know the reasons behind the CPU choice! And Thomas was honest about the results and he clearly said 'we failed'. Besides it IS nice to see someone try that and inform us so that we don't repeat the same, or similar, mistakes!


    TheCapulet This will be the first month that people sign up hoping to win the 1k machine instead of the 2k.Free is always good! For me, I wish I win the $2000 build, simply because the 2 gfx cards alone worth almost as the mid-priced build ($920 vs $1000)!
    Reply