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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $1200 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

The new system has a respectable graphics hardware advantage, featuring two Radeon HD 6950 1 GB boards in CrossFire. However, we’ll have to see how bottlenecked they are by the FX-6100 CPU. The previous system has a fast Core i5-2500K CPU, but a less-capable GeForce GTX 460 1 GB SLI configuration.

Current $1200 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardBiostar TA990FXESocket AM3+, AMD 990FX NorthbridgeUnchanged
ProcessorAMD FX-61003.3 GHz (3.9 GHz Max Turbo Core), Hexa-Core, 8 MB L3 Cache4450 MHz at 1.476 V,207 MHz bus
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T @ 666 MHz7-8-8-24 1T @ 690 MHz
Graphics2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 1 GB  1 GB GDDR5 @ 5000 MT/sGPU @ 870 MHzGDDR5 @ 5040 MT/s GPU @ 880 MHz
Hard DriveOCZ Vertex Plus 60 GB SATA II SSD 60 GB, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalSony Optiarc DVD Burner24x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseRosewill Challenger-U3Unchanged
PowerCorsair TX650 V2 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged
September $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardEVGA P67 Micro SLI LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipsetUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache4490 MHz at 1.4 V
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1T @ 666 MHz7-8-7-24 1T @ 800 MHz
Graphics2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1 GB  1 GB GDDR5 @ 3600 MT/sGPU @ 720 MHzGDDR5 @ 3700 MT/s GPU @ 850 MHzFan @ 100%
Hard DriveOCZ Vertex Series 30 GB SATA II SSD 30 GB, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalSony Optiarc DVD Burner24x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseRaidmax Atlas-295WBUnchanged
PowerCorsair CX600 V2 600 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged

And here's the list of benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
Just Cause 2In-game benchmark: Concrete JungleTest Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AFTest Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
F1 2010V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 9.0.3.15 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.94: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.0.0.1555: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZIPVersion 14.0 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.0 Beta 4: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.2: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.1.17.15, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark