Page 1:Upgrading To First Class…On The Cheap
Page 2:CPU, CPU Cooler, And RAM
Page 3:Motherboard, Graphics, And Hard Drives
Page 4:Case, Power, And Optical Drive
Page 5:Accessories And Assembly
Page 7:Test Settings
Page 8:Benchmark Results: First-Person Shooters
Page 9:Benchmark Results: Real-Time Strategy
Page 10:Benchmark Results: Audio/Video Encoding
Page 11:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 13:Power Consumption
Benchmark Results: First-Person Shooters
Without a November high-cost configuration against which to compare our current build, we had to reach back to our October $4,500 PC, with its dual Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards in CrossFireX and heavily-overclocked Core 2 Quad Q9650, to gauge any performance improvements in this month’s build.
Crysis is marketed as an Nvidia-optimized game with The Way It's Meant To Be Played (TWIMTBP), so we’d expect some fairly impressive gains from our 3-way SLI configuration. Let’s begin there.
Previous tests have shown the new system’s Core i7 architecture has a minimal performance advantage in most games, so we really have to credit our three GTX 260 graphics cards, with their updated Core 216 architecture, for the big Crysis win at low to medium resolutions. However, notice that the performance lead of our 3-way SLI configuration fell off completely when we exceeded 1920x1200 pixels.
Anti-aliasing (AA) results look similar to those noted in Crysis without AA, except that the 3-way SLI went from slow to naught at 2560x1600. Starting the test at our highest resolution resulted in a black screen.
Unreal Tournament 3 is another game from Nvidia’s TWIMTBP list, but its game engine has always appeared to be favorable to CPU speed and memory bandwidth. Our new system doesn’t have a CPU frequency advantage over the old one, but its on-die triple-channel memory controller is certain to provide a boost.
- Upgrading To First Class…On The Cheap
- CPU, CPU Cooler, And RAM
- Motherboard, Graphics, And Hard Drives
- Case, Power, And Optical Drive
- Accessories And Assembly
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: First-Person Shooters
- Benchmark Results: Real-Time Strategy
- Benchmark Results: Audio/Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Power Consumption