System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

We compare our new build to the $1000 enthusiast system we put together for our last SBM in June 2010. It will be interesting to see how the new system with a single GeForce GTX 470/Core i5-750 combo fares against the previous system sporting dual Radeon HD 5830 cards in CrossFire paired up to a Phenom II X3 720 equipped with four working CPU cores.

$1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX
LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset, BIOS 1003
Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750
  2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache
3.75 GHz, 178 MHz Reference Clock 
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) SDRAM DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
DDR3-1070, CAS 8-8-8-22-1T
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470
1280 MB GDDR5-3348 Per Card
607/1215 MHz GPU/Shaders, 837 MHz Mem
GDDR5-4500
690/1380 MHz GPU/Shaders, 845 MHz Mem
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 640 GB
7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS124
24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS Certified
Unchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC (From Previous SBM) Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardMSI 790X-G45 Socket AM3
Chipset: AMD 790X
Unchanged
ProcessorPhenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8 GHz
  Three Cores, 6 MB L3 Cache (OEM)
3.424 GHz at 1.5V, 16x multiplier,
214 MHz Base Clock, 4 Cores Enabled
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) SDRAM DDR3-1333
Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
DDR3-1426, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T
Graphics2 x Radeon HD 5830 (CrossFire)
1 GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card
Radeon HD 5830 GPU at 800 MHz
GDDR5-4400
820 MHz GPU
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Blue 320 GB
320 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB Cache SATA 3Gb/s
Unchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS124
24x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROM
Unchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W
ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS Certified
Unchanged


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 2
In-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2
Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
Call of Pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test 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
iTunes
Version: 9.0.2.25 x64
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file
from "The Last Samurai" (1.0GB) to .mp4
High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292
Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)
Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s)
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image
Radial 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: 270.14.1/2407
Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra,
Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • sassan_88
    ha ha Intel+nvidia beats amd based system!!!just like always
    and everyone is going to shoot me after this comment!!
  • Anonymous
    Wonder why the i5 vs the 1055t? I mean, the 1055t is pretty close to the i7 in multithreaded apps, and enthusiasts tend to run multithreaded programs.
  • cleeve
    E_manWonder why the i5 vs the 1055t?


    This isn't really an i5 vs. 1055T article, there aren't even any 1055T performance numbers here. It's focused on the current $1000 PC vs the previous $1000 PC.

    Having said that, performance between all the builds will be compared in the upcoming conclusion article, and the ~$200 price of both the i5-750 and 1055T more than justifies a comparison. I'm certainly interested in seeing how they stack up against one another.

    E_man I mean, the 1055t is pretty close to the i7 in multithreaded apps, and enthusiasts tend to run multithreaded programs.


    Enthusiasts run a lot of stuff, heavily threaded and sometimes only using a processor. Enthusiasts play games, too, and those rarely take advantage of more than two or three cores...
  • iamtheking123
    I think the question you guys are missing is: do you really need to spend $1000? As it stands you could build the June $1000 PC today for about $850 or so. And I have no doubt that a system like that would have no problem gaming a few years into the future. In terms of sheer performance, this build is better, but the June build is far more bang for the buck.
  • SpadeM
    Quick question: what's the setting for the gpu acceleration in adobe photoshop?
  • Tamz_msc
    Prices have dropped these days.You can add GTX 460 768 MB SLI if you look for combos and MIRs.A great build nonetheless.Why didn't you get the Antec three hundred Illusion?It comes with the front fans pre-installed for 10 bucks more.
  • dauthus
    I was hoping to see a pair of of gtx 460's in SLI, but I suppose that would have put the build slightly over budget. While I generally prefer single graphic solutions, the gf100 architecture makes me sad.
  • elel
    dauthusI was hoping to see a pair of of gtx 460's in SLI, but I suppose that would have put the build slightly over budget. While I generally prefer single graphic solutions, the gf100 architecture makes me sad.

    I'm guessing that these cards weren't out at the time.
  • Anonymous
    Its really impressive on how intel i5 can perform and power up that gtx 470, makin it better choise than 2 ati at same money!

    Intel really makes difference , that´s why it been always a little more pricey i guess...
  • willgart
    good point... what is the today price of the june 1000$ system? could you include the June 2000$ system in the comparison too?
    so will have a june 850$(?) vs august 1000$ vs june 1700$(?) comparison.
  • burnley14
    If you knew you were going in $15 under budget, why not spend it on a couple extra case fans or something similar to squeeze out a little more performance from the system?
  • jgv115
    I'm glad the GTX470 is being more competitive, it even stands up to a HD5830 Crossfire and the price is dropping! This is great for nvidia.

    Good article! I love reading these :)

    Keep up the good work Tom's!
  • Marcus52
    iamtheking123I think the question you guys are missing is: do you really need to spend $1000? As it stands you could build the June $1000 PC today for about $850 or so. And I have no doubt that a system like that would have no problem gaming a few years into the future. In terms of sheer performance, this build is better, but the June build is far more bang for the buck.


    Why spend more than $400? You can buy a computer for that. Why even buy a computer at all, you don't need one. In fact, imagine all the money you could save without having to pay for internet access and upgrading and all.

    Get rid of the cell phone too - a land line is all you need. And, why do you need more than the TV you can get that's broadcast through the air for free? Forget cable and all that nonsense.

    /end sarcasm
  • Moores Law
    that's a nice build for that price. the i5 and 470 is a perfect match for bang for bux performance.

    keep it up guys.
  • doron
    I never understand you reporters at toms, you barely show game benchmarks with the highest graphical details possible (with the exception of Mr. Soderstorm's review here). I can't think of any reason not to crank up graphics performance as much as I can in games, especially when I buy a 1000$ + system, unless I want to demonstrate my cpu prowess, but that's why all the other benchmarks are for aren't they?
  • Ubrales
    Good informative article! Good benchmark info particularly about Adobe PS, Autodesk, and Gaming.
  • hemelskonijn
    Marcus52:

    Though you where being sarcastic for the lot of us your right, i just bought a brand new prebuild system including a phenom II x6 (1055t) 4 gigs of ram a raid 0 disk setup (2x 1tb 7200rpm 32meg WD10EADS) and and a sad radeon 5450 and though the graphics card is out of style and needs replacement already i don't think i have much to complain about considering this build cost me little under 600 euro including shipping and handling.

    I use a land line combined with voip (yes i use it on my mobile to) so i really only pay for my mobile internet and my DSL. And i get my TV from a combination of Free To Air DVB-S and DVB-T wich works well and gets me over 30 channels in full HD at the cost of a setop box two dishes 3 LNB and a DiSEq switch. No cable provider will give me that much HD content specially not for free!

    The conclusion could be that i am an enthusiast on a budget and i don't need 2k or even 1k rigs. That is not to say i don't like reading up on them or would not accept one if it was send my way ... just that a lot of us can do with a lot less on a less extreme budget.
  • nerrawg
    Great build article - was informative to see what extent a stronger CPU platform can counterbalance a stronger GPU setup even in gaming performance. Everybody seems to be talking about the Phenom II X6, but it seems to me that everything AMD phenom II series with at least 4 cores; from an unlocked B50/55 to 965 and the X6 offer pre
  • nerrawg
    ... all overclock similarly (3.6-3.8 Ghz reliably) and offer the same tier of gaming performance when overclocked. Likewise the Intel quad core I5 and I7's appear to be one tier above at least - especially when overclocked. Then you just have to sit back and ask yourself what you budget is. In this regard the article appears to me to support the notion that if you are going to spend more than $1000 you should spend some extra cash on getting intel - even when going for a gaming build
  • jestersage
    Very nice! Straightforward, simple to assemble and rock-solid value.

    Too bad I can only afford the poor-man's (or -enthusiast's) system build which I am looking forward to reading tomorrow.

    It seems to me this build will win out over yesterday's $2000 machine later this week when all 3 are compared. I hope the $400 build could actually squeak in an upset.

    Thanks, Tom's Hardware! Nice evening reading tonight. I'm very patiently waiting for tomorrow's article... Barely...