Overall Performance And Efficiency
The $1600 PC enjoys a 34% lead over the $800 machine in gaming performance, which is particularly significant since this quarter's System Builder Marathon targets gaming.
My $2400 PC enjoys a similar lead, but productivity is where its pricey Ivy Bridge-E-based CPU makes the most difference. Also, average performance doesn't include the results at 5760x1080, since Paul didn't test his $800 machine at that resolution.
The $1600 PC overclocks far better than the $800 system. Once again, we see even larger overclocking gains from my $2400 submission, even if its price continuously overwhelms a strict comparison of performance value.
Power use also overwhelms performance on the $1600 and $2400 machines, but by less than expected given that shocking power consumption chart on the previous page. Low-voltage overclocking helps the $800 PC gain over its stock configuration.
The above chart is zeroed out by subtracting 100% from the baseline, so that it doesn't show any PC being more than 100% efficient. Remember that these efficiency ratings are relative to the stock $800 PC baseline, and that the actual efficiency of a machine doing no physical work is zero.
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.