Test System And Benchmarks
Now that we’ve looked at our choices and justifications in detail, let’s recap our components one more time before getting into the benches and comparing them to the previous two $1,250 enthusiast PCs against which we'll benchmark this month's machine:
|February's $1,250 Mid-Range System Test Configuration|
|Component||Base Settings||Overclock Setting|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83 GHz, FSB-1333, 12 MB Cache||3.61 GHz (8.5 x 425 MHz), FSB-1700 1.35 V Core, 1.3 V MCH/ICH Core|
|CPU Cooler||Xigmatek HDT-1283|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR Intel P45, BIOS F1 (10/14/2008)|
|RAM||4.0 GB G.SKILL HK 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 4-4-4-12 at 1.8 V||2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-850, CL 5-6-6-16 at 1.9 V|
|Graphics||Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2x AMD RV770 GPU, 750 MHz 2x 1,024 MB GDDR5 900 MHz||780 MHz GPU, 1,100 GDDR5|
|Hard Drives||Western Digital Caviar Black 640GD 640 GB, 7,200 RPM, 32 MB Cache|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Corsair 650TX ATX 12 V2.2, 52A on a single 12 V Rail|
|Optical||LITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit, SP1|
|Graphics Driver||Catalyst 8.12 32-bit Edition|
You now know the hardware and the overclock, so let’s have a detailed look at the benchmarks and settings before we scrutinize the results.
|Crysis||Version: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool|
|Supreme CommanderForged Alliance||Version: 1.5.3599, Video Quality: Highest Settings, Demo: WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark: Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037|
|Unreal Tournament 3||Version: 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details: 5, Level Details: 5, Demo: vCTF-Reflection_bot, Time: 12/60|
|World in Conflict||Version: 184.108.40.206, Video Quality: Very High details, Demo: Game-Benchmark|
|iTunes||Version: 220.127.116.11, Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC|
|Lame MP3||Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave-to-MP3, 160 Kb/s|
|TMPEG 4.5||Version: 18.104.22.168, Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9|
|DivX 6.8.3||Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search|
|XviD 1.1.3||Display encoding status = off|
|Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1||MPEG2 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), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core|
|Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9||Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)|
|Adobe Photoshop CS 3||Version: 10.0x20070321, Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-Photo, Benchmark: Tomshardware-Benchmark V22.214.171.124, Filters: Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e, Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes|
|Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8||Version: 8.0.134, Virus base : 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files|
|Winrar 3.80||Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression=Best, Dictionary=4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)|
|Winzip 11||Version 11.2, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)|
|3DMark Vantage||Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores|
|PCMark Vantage||Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646|
|SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2||Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test= Bandwidth Benchmark|
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I just checked, I was wondering if the HD 4850 x2 (2x1gb) was a better choice at only $240? That would cut the cost by an additional.Reply
Phenom 2 940 is 40$ dollars cheaper overclock's to 3.7-3.9 on air runs cooler and performs the same. Not sure why you went with an equal performing lower overclocking higher power using and almost 40$ more expensive cpu.Reply
You're $96 under budget, but you couldn't splurge on a better case?Reply
Unless you made a Typo on one of those prices, they all add up to the 1154 total. So why are you so under budget?
xx12amanxxPhenom 2 940 is 40$ dollars cheaper overclock's to 3.7-3.9 on air runs cooler and performs the same. Not sure why you went with an equal performing lower overclocking higher power using and almost 40$ more expensive cpu.Reply
Can't use a processor that doesn't exist. They weren't on the market when the parts were ordered...what, you thought these articles were produced overnight?
TindytimYou're $96 under budget, but you couldn't splurge on a better case?Unless you made a Typo on one of those prices, they all add up to the 1154 total. So why are you so under budget?
Prices dropped after the parts were ordered: The same thing happens to EVERY builder, the system loses value almost as soon as you can click the "buy" icon.
CrashmanPrices dropped after the parts were ordered: The same thing happens to EVERY builder, the system loses value almost as soon as you can click the "buy" icon.Wait, wait, wait.Reply
You mention that in the $625 article, but those were the prices at purchase. Why the inconsistency?
TindytimWait, wait, wait.You mention that in the $625 article, but those were the prices at purchase. Why the inconsistency?Reply
Ask the author of the other article? I only know that the more expensive a part is, the more money you loose when the price drops.
*SIGH* Yet ANOHTER "Intel System Build Marathon" machine...just kidding - I understand what you are saying about the Phenom II 940 not being available at the time of component purchase - It would be nice to see some AMD in next months articles though!Reply
P.S. - you were under budget, why not go w/ the Antec Three Hundred Case - it's 1000% nicer than the Rosewill Piece 'o Junk you picked, and would have cooled your Overclock a lot better IMHO...just a thought - it's a killer case for the money - have you ever used it in a system build?
This is my first time commenting on any article at Tom's after reading everyday for 6+ years, but seeing the UD3LR motherboard pick instead of the equally priced UD3R ($2 more after rebate) or UD3P($12 more after rebate) is ridiculous for a computer hardware website. Both boards would let you do 24/7 clocks of 4+ at decent voltages on air for an E0 stepping Q9550. Gigabyte isn't going to iron out bios wrinkles on their cheapest UD3, don't forget even the UD3R was easilly beaten in stability against the UD3P until two to three months ago when better bioses started popping up. Maybe it's late, but some strange hardware gets picked on this site to save $12.Reply
I would have thought your OC would have been more limited by the 4pin CPU Power on the motherboardReply
Im diggin' the build here, regardless of newer hardware being available later, and prices dropping after purchase.Reply
Suggestion: Why not split these articles up into two forms? Why not submit an "initial/at time of order" article and have that listed first to let people argue, then do all the benchmarking and submit a followup article later, attached to the initial article?
People can still bicker over price range and stuff before the benchmarks even come out, that way you know what/when the article is being based off of.
I know, Im the new guy and Im probably spitting in to the wind here, but...