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

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

$600 Gaming PC System Test Configuration

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ComponentsBase SettingsOverclock Settings
CPUIntel Pentium E5200 2.50 GHz, FSB-800, 2 MB Cache3.497 GHz (10.5x 333 MHz), FSB1333, 1.224V Core
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Heatsink/FanUnchanged
MotherboardASRock G41M-LEIntel G41, BIOS 1.60 (4/13/09)Unchanged
RAM4.0 GB G.Skill HK 6400, 2x 2048MB, DDR2-800, CL 4-4-4-12 at 1.90 VUnchanged
GraphicsXFX GX260XADJF GeForce GTX 260 Core Edition, Core 216 896 MB576 MHz GPU, 1,242 MHz Shader, 1,000 MHz (2,000 DDR) Memory 663 MHz GPU, 1404 MHz Shader, 1150 MHz (2300 MHz DDR) Memory
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated 7.1-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerOCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550 W ModularUnchanged
OpticalLite-On 22X DVD Burner SATA Model iHAS322-08 retailUnchanged
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Ultimate Edition 64-bit, Service Pack 1Unchanged
Graphics DriverGeForce 185.85 WHQLUnchanged
Platform DriversIntel
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Benchmark Configuration
3D Games Configuration
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark toolTest Set 1: High Quality, No AATest Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
Far Cry 2DirectX 10, in-game benchmarkTest Set 1: High Quality, No AATest Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear SkyAverage of 4 segments "A-Tested Object"Test Set 1: DirectX 10, High EFDL, no MSAATest Set 2: DirectX 10, High EFDL, 4xMSAA
World In ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemoTest 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AFTest 2: Very High Details, 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: (x64)Audio CD ("Terminator II"), 53 min.Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 64bits (07-04-2008)Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min.wave to MP3
TMPEG 4.6Version: File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.1Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
AutodeskVersion: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.80Version 3.80, WinZIP Commandline Version 3.0, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.0, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memories, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3Version 2009.4.15.92, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • doomtomb
    You still manage to fit this PC with a GTX series at such a low price point. Props for that.
  • 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.
  • IronRyan21
    Im sad, I was hoping for at least one AMD cpu in the May SBM series. :(
  • 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.
  • dirtmountain
    What a shame.
  • 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.
  • cangelini
    Wow, no love for a solid build. Nicely done, Paul.
  • erdinger
    dissapointed also just needed to see an Amd system.
  • 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.
  • 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 !?