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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2009: $2,500 Performance PC

Test Settings

The following is a summary of standard and overclocked hardware configurations used in today’s benchmarks.

$2,500 Performance PC Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardGigabyte P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Chipset: Intel P55-ExpressUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i7-860 2.80 GHz Four Cores, 8.0MB L3 Cache3.65 GHz at 1.312V, 203 MHz Base Clock
Memory2 x Crucial 4.0GB DDR3-1333 Kit 4 x 2.0GB (8.0GB Total), CAS 9-9-9-28DDR3-1624 at 1.64V, CAS 8-8-8-18
Graphics2 x Diamond HD 5870 (CrossFireX) 1.0GB GDDR5-4800 Per Card Radeon HD 5870 GPU at 850 MHzGDDR5-5080 900 MHz GPU
Hard Drives2 x WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS (RAID 1) 2.0TB, 7,200 RPM, 64MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG WH08LS20 BD-RE 8x BD-R, 2x BD-RE, 16x DVD±RUnchanged
CaseLian-Li LanCool PC-K7BUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX Modular 850W ATX12V 2.2, EPS12V 2.91, 80-Plus SilverUnchanged
CPU CoolerXigmatek HDT-S1284EE (120mm Fan) plus Crossbow ACK-15363 Bracket KitUnchanged

And now for 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
Fallout 3Patch 1.7, Saved Game "Capital Wasteland" (60 sec) Test Set 1: Highest Details, No AA, No AF Test Set 2: Highest Details, 4x AA, 15x AF
Far Cry 2Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Very High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.XPatch 1.02, DirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
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 8Version: 8.2.1.6 (x64) Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98.2, wave to MP3 Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min wave to MP3
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1 Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 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 Extended, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.1, WinZip Command Line Version 3.0 Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP4aVersion 2009.9.15.130, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • noob2222
    If you went with the 5970, this build would have been fine, but with using 2 5870s, I would have opted a little different, x58 isn't that much more.

    Cpus are almost identical in price, wich leaves only the MB.

    UD4P - 170
    UD3R - 188

    I think in my book it would have been worth the $18.

    The other thing thats a bit overpriced is the HDD as mentioned. At $300 for 2TB, thats $150/TB. 1.5TB drives cost that much, put in 3 drives and save $150 and have .5TB more space.

    Aside from that, good build.
    Reply
  • ColMirage
    Wait, why is the contest limited to the USA now?

    Tom's.
    I am disappoint.


    Aside from that, the build is nice, and I can't wait to see the other ones.
    Reply
  • scook9
    This article has me second guessing me selling my desktop!
    Reply
  • Onyx2291
    Very powerful, but if I were to have it. I think I'd steer clear of overclocking myself haha.
    Reply
  • Gigahertz20
    Horrible build, $2,500 and no SSD drive? That is inexcusable, a SSD drive is one of the best parts you can add to a high end computer, the noticeable performance improvement going from a regular hard drive is like night and day.

    The $860 dollars spent on video cards and $600 for hard drives is a waste. This system should have went with one 2TB WD Caviar Black hard drive for storage and then a 160GB SSD hard drive as the main drive. For a video card, one Radeon 5870 is more then enough, the money saved by not buying a second 5870 should have gone to buying a good full tower case and better CPU cooler.
    Reply
  • enzo matrix
    Good all round build.
    Reply
  • rambo117
    Great read, as always. Gosh, if you guys are calling last SBM performance PC "outdated", id hate to know what my rig is... =/
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    enzo matrixGood all round build.

    Yes I was thinking just that.... an SSD for the master, and a 1tb or a 2tb for backup slave drive.... then a 5970. That would have been ideal as this is considered high end.....
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    ColMirageWait, why is the contest limited to the USA now?Tom's.I am disappoint.Aside from that, the build is nice, and I can't wait to see the other ones.
    Yes we know you're a disappointment. Geez you're worse than kevin parrish.
    Reply
  • wft, you put crossfire on a P55 chipset? You do know that there are only 16 PCIX lanes to the CPU right?

    $300 for a 2TB drive? Are you insane? How can you possibly justify not getting 2 x 1TB Caviar Blacks for $200 total and then getting an SSD?

    2 X 5870 for $860 over 5970 for $650? How much of a performance difference can you possibly expect with Crucial CAS 9-9-9-28 over CORSAIR XMS3 9-9-9-24 which costs $90 for 4GB?

    No water cooling on a system that costs $2500?

    This is the worst build I've ever seen at this price point.
    Reply