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System Builder Marathon Q3 2014: Mainstream Enthusiast PC

Results: Synthetics

We begin our benchmark analysis with a handful of synthetic tests designed to emphasize differences between the various subsystems that changed between last quarter's configuration and this PC. The biggest differences this time around will likely be reflected in graphics-oriented tests thanks to the disparity between the GeForce GTX 770 and Radeon R9 290. In addition, we're hoping to see the Core i5-4690K's higher overclock give it a notable advantage.

When we break down the test's individual components, we can see the Physics suite, in blue, favors the new build's higher-clocked Core i5-4690K, while the Graphics component, in black, demonstrates a sizable lead for the Radeon R9 290. The red result represents the overall 3DMark result, which reflects an advantage for last quarter's PC.

The graphics card isn't much of a factor when it comes to PCMark, and the new build gets extra points for its high clocks and memory bandwidth.

Now that we've added an SSD back into the mix, you can see a huge difference in storage performance. This is a good approximation of the experience you'll have when booting off of these drives, too.

Intel's Core i5 processors perform neck and neck in Sandra's Arithmetic module, with the newer 4690K enjoying a slight lead thanks to its higher stock and overclocked clock rates.

The cryptography Encoding/Decoding benchmark is accelerated by AES-NI, so performance is dictated by the rate at which system memory can feed data into the CPU. The new build's faster memory allows for a substantial lead.

As the cryptography test suggested, there is a sizable gap in memory subsystem performance between these two systems. My newer build's memory defaults to 1800 MT/s, while the XMP profile increases it to 2400 MT/s. Contrast this with the 1333 MT/s default/1600 MT/s overclocked memory in the last quarter's build.

  • gamebrigada
    Not sure why you would go with AsRock... I've seen so many failed motherboards from them after a few months of use... Friend of mine is on his 4th swap from them, and is beyond tired of swapping with them, the current one at least has issues that he can work around... with a usb to ethernet adapter....
    Reply
  • mlga91
    Personally, i'd get a cheaper case and put a 970 on there, looks for the cost of performance doesn't seems too wise for me.
    Reply
  • DynamoNED
    14242198 said:
    Personally, i'd get a cheaper case and put a 970 on there, looks for the cost of performance doesn't seems too wise for me.

    While I'd agree on the cheaper case, the 970 wasn't an option since they hadn't been released when they were buying parts for this quarter's SBM.

    From Page 3 of the article: "The GeForce GTX 970 launched last week wasn't available (or even public information) back when we ordered the pieces for this build. So, I needed something cheaper than the Radeon R9 290 that wouldn't sacrifice gaming performance. Under $300, the best option was Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770."

    Obviously, today the 970 would be a much better choice, but that option didn't exist when this build was purchased.
    Reply
  • realibrad
    @ mlga91

    Good job. There is always that guy who does not read the article when it explains why the brand new card was not used, because it was not an option at the time of the review.

    So congrats on being that guy this time. It only took 3 posts to get there.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    an ssd and a cm haf case in this build. that should prevent the rages, gasps and disapproving gazes from the last quarter. ;) really though, a o.c. oriented pc should have parts built for speed and this pc has them.

    on the last page:
    When price vs. performance is compared, the new build doesn't look as attractive as the Q3 enthusiast system.
    may be you meant the Q2 enthusiast system. imo, yea, the q3 build doesn't seem as attractive as the q2 one. i think that one could add the ssd from this build and still be the better pc.

    i wonder if you guys would build an fx8350/8320 pc as an alternative build at this price range for the ongoing overclocking theme.
    Reply
  • Onus
    The PSU received a Golden Award at HardwareSecrets, and it did mostly well on other sites as well, although at least three noted the presence of Samxon capacitors. They don't appear to be "GF" series though, which supposedly are the really bad ones.
    I'd like to know more about the thickness / flexibility of the ASRock mobo. Otherwise, I don't think I have any niggles over performance-related parts.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    14242123 said:
    Not sure why you would go with AsRock... I've seen so many failed motherboards from them after a few months of use... Friend of mine is on his 4th swap from them, and is beyond tired of swapping with them, the current one at least has issues that he can work around... with a usb to ethernet adapter....

    I've never had any problems with Asrock and I'm on my second Asrock board.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Although some of them are thin and uncomfortably flexible, I've also not had any ASRock mobos die on me, except one likely killed by heat. I have read mixed comments on them, although most reviews tend to be positive.
    Reply
  • Formata
    Yes!!! The hacksaw came out on the RAM! Now your building old skool!
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    770 stand up to a 290?! You can overclock all you want buddy.
    Reply