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System Builder Marathon Q3 2014: Budget Gaming PC

Results: Synthetics

3DMark

3DMark Fire Strike gives us a first look how these two low-cost gaming PCs stack up to one another. By cutting down platform costs, we were able to step up from Radeon R7 265 to R9 270 graphics. This shifting of funds yields a higher graphics score than last quarter’s overclocked effort. How's that for immediate improvement?

The Physics test, on the other hand, indicates that a pair of Haswell cores needs more than 3.2 GHz to match the dual-module architecture of AMD's Athlon X4 750K.

PCMark 8

Based on PCMark 8 scores, the current machine appears capable in almost any common task, whether at home or in the office. Its victories over last quarter’s machine are further extended once we apply overclocking to them.

SiSoftware Sandra

The current machine’s Pentium processor leads in Sandra’s Dhrystone module, but trails in the Whetstone floating-point arithmetic test.

Cryptographic throughput dropped substantially last quarter when we moved from a Haswell-based Core i3 to a more affordable Trinity-based Athlon. Unlike Intel’s Core processors, value-oriented Pentiums and Celerons do not support AES-NI. As a result, the current machine gets totally spanked in this comparison.

Both builds have the same Team Dark Series memory kit installed. Last quarter, I enabled the XMP DDR3-1600 profile for stock testing, and overclocked to DDR3-1866. The Pentium is limited to DDR3-1333, so the only tweaking performed was lowering from CAS 9 to CAS 7 timings.

Despite this data rate handicap, the Pentium’s memory controller still delivers greater bandwidth.

  • Memnarchon
    Wow! Pentium G3258 becoming a monster for that price, once it goes over 4Ghz...
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    I would personally love to get a Pentium G3258 for my HTPC, it's only like $50 at Micro Center and the motherboard is $70 at Newegg. Hmm... decisions, decisions. :lol:
    Reply
  • ScienceGuy3
    What about the Frame Times? Isn't this processor notorious for bad frame times in heavily threaded games like BF4?
    Reply
  • elbert
    serves up to 30 A across its +12 V rails.
    Its rated to serve up to 30 Amps but can do far more. Tests on this little gem shows it can output 22amps on each rail and maxes out around 38~39 Amps on both. Im paraphrasing a popular power supply testing site. Max wattage is about 553ish which is a good deal more than rated. This power supply can't be certified due to it lacks a circuit required but exceeds 80 percent efficiency.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    a lot of things went right for this build: amd introduced the full pitcairn/curacao gpu based r9 270 under 150w, needing single 6 pin pcie power connector, cryptocurrency craze was over and gfx card prices came down, hdd prices came down to sane levels, cpu-overhead-reducing gfx card drivers came out, intel released an unlocked dual core cpu and allowed o.c. bioses....
    Reply
  • jdwii
    I'm just not sure for one they didn't show latency times. I'm pretty sure this build will suck for future gaming to such as GTA5.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g3258-overclocking-performance,3849-5.html
    When toms reviewed this CPU it was shown to have poor latency
    For a 500$ build i would probably do a 6300+265 build. 600$ i would probably jump the build up to a I5+265 or 8320+270X.
    Reply
  • Onus
    No stuttering? Very interesting; looks like more testing might be needed, but perhaps settings can also be adjusted.
    Reply
  • akula2
    Since this CPU is super performer on various fronts (single core), so why not this config?

    Pentium G3258 - $69.97
    NZXT Kraken X31 - $73.98
    Asus MAXIMUS VII HERO - $203.99
    G.Skill Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 - $184.99
    Crucial M550 1TB 2.5" SSD - $447.98
    Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX - $349.99


    NZXT Phantom 530 (White) - $121.98
    EVGA 650W ATX12V - $64.99 (not sure about its power good signal value?)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer - $16.99

    Asus VG248QE Monitor - $264.99

    D-Link DWA-171 802.11a/b/g/n/ac USB 2.0 - $29.27
    Logitech MK550 w/Laser Mouse - $49.99
    Corsair Vengeance 2100 - $79.99
    Logitech Z506 155W 5.1ch - $69.99

    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional (32/64-bit) - $170.99

    Total: $2200

    What you guys think? Usage? Racing Games at homes, audio/video encoding etc. I don't need K CPUs because I'm not in a hurry in this case.

    Power source: 100% green aka Solar energy.
    Reply
  • Janemba
    Will 400 watt enough for R7 265 ?? tell me ??
    i use i3-4130 btw.
    Reply
  • alchemy69
    Very similar to the system I just put together for myself except that I felt a 260X was more than enough power for the GPU and put the savings towards a small SSD for the boot drive.
    Reply