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System Builder Marathon, May '09: $600 Gaming PC

Power Consumption

For SBM performance testing, power-saving features such as CPU Enhanced Halt and CPU EIST Function were both disabled and Windows Vista’s power option was set to High Performance. Let’s take a look at the total system power usage measured from the AC source.  

Idle consumption is quite low considering this is the most powerful graphics card we have so far put in a budget SBM machine. The lower CPU voltage and core speeds of the overclocked system kept the Prime95 CPU load consumption down far below our $625 machine in the January 2009 SBM series. 

We have made a switch to FurMark for GPU load consumption. FurMark, which is an OpenGL benchmark/stability test, downright tortures the GPU while only loading one CPU core. A full-screen benchmark run may actually exceed even the worst-case scenario of peak-GPU consumption ever seen in gaming. Still, this month’s overclocked rig consumes under 300 W at full CPU and GPU load, showing that a PSU with fewer watts could still have been sufficient.

  • doomtomb
    You still manage to fit this PC with a GTX series at such a low price point. Props for that.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Yeah while you generally can find a 4890 10 dollars cheaper then a GTX275 the reverse is true when it comes to a 4870 and GTX260.

    Interesting i would have thought you would have went with a kuma due to limited oc ability in a cramped "gaming box", although you did make the oc worth while.

    I understand the rest of the build; though the case looks more like a media box then a gaming box those cramped boxes amaze and worry me as even my htpc is very well cooled and silent due to being very low heat as in not a oced cpu and a power hungry gpu.
    Reply
  • IronRyan21
    Im sad, I was hoping for at least one AMD cpu in the May SBM series. :(
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    62 dollar mobo hard to argue with that cpu+mobo coming out to be 62+70=$132 and, getting that much oc off the stock cooler.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    What a shame.
    Reply
  • cinergy
    IronRyan21Im sad, I was hoping for at least one AMD cpu in the May SBM series.
    Green eyed Tom gives no mercy for DAAMIT.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Wow, no love for a solid build. Nicely done, Paul.
    Reply
  • erdinger
    dissapointed also just needed to see an Amd system.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    It is a lovely build, but the all around performance would be better with a Phenom2 x3 720, something that was achievable at the typical $625- $650 budget build price tag. If you look at the last 4 budget builds you get a E5200, E5300, E7300 and now yet another E5200. Give us a break, is the next one going to feature the E6300, then another E5200? As for the enthusiast, we get an i7, then a core2 duo, then a core2 quad, now another i7. Is it all around performance? or gaming performance? or just Intel performance? How can any reader know how the AMDs will stand up in these marathons if they never get the chance? With the new quarterly offering of the SBM it will be 3 months before another series comes out, just in time to see yet another i7, i5 and the E6300 builds. It's not as if the people waiting and wanting to see an AMD build are any surprise to Toms SBM or that they're disappointed to see AMD excluded once again. I'm disappointed myself even though Pauls build is a really nice one.
    Reply
  • sandoness
    Gah.. wouldn't it be smart to get a more powerful cpu?

    even with the overclocking power of this one?

    I was originally gonna get a q9550 !?

    :/

    Reply