Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Sandra's Arithmetic test shows the expensive system’s quad-core CPU providing around twice as much performance as the mid-priced dual-core chip. The budget PC’s triple-core processor shines the value light on AMD’s CPU.
Our cheapest system surpasses the Sandra Multimedia performance of its double-core (and double-priced) $1000 rival, though it still doesn’t stand a chance against the $2000 build. On the other hand, half the performance at a quarter the price again shows AMD’s value leadership.
Memory bandwidth is embarrassing for both Intel-based builds: Mushkin “updated” the Essentials modules ordered for the $2000 PC to less-overclockable parts, forcing the builder to hunt for better timings at a lower data rate after overclocking the system’s base clock. The $1000 builder was put into a similar position, but his strict policy of not increasing DIMM voltage forced an even bigger drop in performance, penalizing his build even more.
That said, SSD is a great addition as well as some of the other difficult to measure in value parts.
These builds are targeted at a fixed budget, and (at the moment, with these budgets) money should never be spent on an SSD at the expense of more cpu or graphics power.
Dropping SSDs would also stop convoluting the "value" comparison.
The fact that problems were encountered during the builds, such as the issue with memory, and the issue with the bios; these are important practical lessons that make the articles well worth the time to read.
Overall, I can't imagine a better choice of builds, nor a better outcome, given Sandy Bridge on the horizon.
In any case, the $500 build rocks my boat. I just feel it isn't right to saddle the $1000 build with a dual core, hyper-threaded or not. An AMD triple/quad core with bad-@ss cooling (at the same price) might have been better.