System Builder Marathon Q1 2015: Mainstream Enthusiast PC

Results: Adobe Creative Cloud And Compression Tools

We run two scripted Photoshop benchmarks: one that is threaded and fully taxes our CPUs, and another that leverages OpenCL acceleration to offload work to our graphics cards.

It's interesting to see the GeForce GTX 970 demonstrate similar performance as the GeForce GTX 770 in tests that exploit GPU-based compute. We're not sure what's slowing the newer board down, but we were hoping to see it exhibit a lead over Nvidia's previous-gen architecture.

CPU and memory performance are critical variables in the rest of these tests, which do not leverage the heterogeneous nature of OpenCL. The After Effects benchmark is single-threaded and, like iTunes and LAME, responds to clock rate and installed memory, so the results are practically identical. Similar to Photoshop, Premiere Pro is optimized for multi-core CPUs and benefits from Hyper-Threading.

Compression Tools

The chart below represents three separate benchmarks. WinZip's -EZ switch forces the app to use maximum compression. That's a processor-bound test, and its more taxing workload translates to longer completion times. The OpenCL-accelerated version leverages graphics resources to help compress files larger than 8MB.

Our OpenCL-enabled benchmark shows an impressive performance improvement thanks to the GeForce GTX 970, which makes the previous page's Photoshop result even more puzzling. Regardless, the Core i7-based system wipes the floor with the previous build's Core i5.

  • hausman
  • Grognak
    Your builds are getting more and more expensive.
  • tom10167
    Looks pretty good but get a Black Series for $20 more
  • g-unit1111
    Honestly I would go optical drive less and get a H440 or something similar. Was it a requirement to spend $50 on the blu-ray burner?
  • damric
    Dear God, why another junk Compucase PSU?

    And why a PNY SSD? Save the packaging for that. You will need it for RMA.

    With a budget that large there is no room for parts with high failure rates.
  • de5_Roy
    nice build. my only nitpick is about the motherboard. would choosing a xeon e3 12xx v3 have led to better mobo and/or gfx card and/or psu?
  • cknobman
    Waiting for the day one of you SBM folks take your panties off and skips the optical drive.

    We have reached the day and age where optical drives are really not necessary and just eat into budget for more useful things.
  • des99
    how does the math add up?
    $925 Performace hardware +
    $240 case, os and optical $240
  • pepsimtl
    I think cpu I5 K whill do the same job for gamer and least expensive :)
    This motherboard color is so ugly ( same color 1985 pc ) and all the component except for memory . Just look inside the computer depress me
  • Onus
    Given the power numbers (which I think you know enough to have anticipated), even a 450W Rosewill Capstone would have sufficed. I just don't see an EVGA "B" series making it into an enthusiast build; ever.
    I also really don't like seeing 1.65V RAM. Perhaps 1.6V, but allowing for how different motherboards may tweak RAM for stability, already running at 1.65V seems like more of a risk to the Intel IMC than is worthwhile. I'd really prefer to keep at the standard 1.5V.