3ds Max, Blender, FineReader, and Visual Studio all utilize multi-core configurations effectively. As a result, the $1600 machine is the one that appears most out of place. It costs twice as much as Paul's setup, but because it sports the same number of x86 cores, performance is only slightly better thanks to higher clock rates and an updated Haswell architecture.
These benchmarks do no favors for the $2400 PC's value story. Sure, my machine is nearly twice as fast as the $800 configuration. But I needed it to be three times faster to keep up with cost.
I catch a break in Visual Studio; the $2400 machine is a little more than twice as fast as Paul's effort. I’d like to credit a combination of six cores running at high clock rates and plenty of memory bandwidth for the advantage, though extra shared L3 cache is likely playing a role as well.
The first one I can think of, being kind of boring as it might be, its the most obvious one to have: loading times. There are games that load a bazillion things on the fly and are some-what storage sensitive (MMOs basically) and we all hate waiting for everything to load, right? It can be clocked with a 10% error margin (thinking it usually takes around 200ms for human response).
I'm asking this, because RAID0 could become important if we see the value it adds to our builds. I know they're nowhere near SSDs, but Steam + other games take a LOT of space. My own Games folder racks up 410GB, where Steam is 300GB alone. You could slap 2x500GB HDDs in RAID 0 for half the value of a 240GB SSD if memory serves right and 2x1TB HDDs are just a tad more expensive. You can even use notebook HDDs if you want, haha.
Also, I would have cut the memory by half and remove the SSD for getting these 2 cards. Also... you really needs to change your SBM... it is ridiculous at this point.