Power And Heat
Intel's Haswell architecture improves the per-core performance of Don’s $1300 PC in many of our benchmarks. That's not the only place it shines, though. The same machine idles down to 55 W in spite of its hefty GeForce GTX 770 graphics card, and power under full CPU load climbs only to 161 W when it's overclocked.
My $2550 box has three strikes against it in power consumption, starting with a three-way set of graphics cards that push its full GPU load power to 802 W after overclocking. Its older Sandy Bridge-E architecture is also less power-friendly than competing designs, and it has two more of those cores than its $1300 rival.
Three-way SLI pushes lots of each out of the $2550 PC’s GPUs. At least the fans are powerful enough to prevent them from overheating. Its six-core CPU ran even hotter after a round of overclocking, severely limiting frequency.
The one GPU in Paul’s $650 build runs almost as hot as my three, though he's able to extract a much more aggressive overclock.