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

Benchmark Results: Synthetics

Let’s start with 3DMark 11. This is where we're most likely to see two Radeon HD 6950s in CrossFire distinguish themselves from the GeForce combination.

The new FX-based PC shows an advantage at higher resolutions and graphics loads thanks to its beefy GPUs. But, at entry-level settings, the bottleneck shifts to the CPU. Intel's Core i5-2500K and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 SLI configuration take a slight win.

PCMark clearly favors the Intel-based system, and even the overclocked 4.5 GHz FX-6100 cannot match the stock Core i5-2500K's results.

The Intel box has a clear advantage, but the new FX-6100 has one win in the Double x4 iSSE2 Multimedia CPU benchmark.

Note: AMD’s memory bandwidth is clear here, but this is more of an issue with the older version of Sandra we're using for this comparison. We're currently upgrading our benchmark suite, and will update these results in the next system builder marathon.