Benchmark Results: Applications
Apple iTunes usually shows itself heavily biased toward CPU clock speed, yet it didn’t favor Maingear’s higher overclock.
Lame MP3 encoding reveals the expected performance difference for two differently-clocked processors.
TMPGEnc and Mainconcept again favor maingear’s higher CPU speed.
3ds Max 2009 proves no exception with the faster processor for faster rendering times.
AVG virus scan put the ball back in iBuyPower’s court, even with its slightly slower CPU clock, relaxed memory timings, and identical hard drive.
WinRAR and WinZip finish the overclocking proof-of-concept by favoring Maingear.
Yet that aspect of system builders is missed by the current review process. I'd love to see even more about the ordering and support process, but you're right that would require a "secret shopper" method.
I can't speak for all boutique builders, but I bet you would find many of us extremely receptive to any ideas you may have on how we can help mitigate the costs of a secret shopper program in a way that preserves the fairness and anonymity of the review process.
President - Puget Systems
That's the way they shipped them, so it's the ONLY way to run a fair comparison: NO MODIFICATIONS.
Also notice that the system with the newest drivers lost. We tried ripping out the newer drivers and putting in the older ones: a few benchmarks lost around 0.1-1.0 FPS with the "matching" drivers, but it really wasn't worth the time to finish retesting since it only made the worst-performing system perform slightly worse than it had when it first lost. An increased loss of less than 1% (average) is still a loss and the difference isn't noteworthy.
Who buys a $4k+ system to game at 1024 x 768?
Who buys a $4k system to game at 1920? The 2560 results are there.
If they are going to put in premium parts, why do they buy ugly cases to stick them in? When are PC makers going to put more attention into more attractive cases?
$4,000 for an ugly brick. Whatever.