Is There Value In A $2000 Build?
Our new build outperforms the previous machine in both overclocked and stock trim, in spite of the fact that its overclock was far from what we were hoping to see. Most of that win was due to its improved graphics performance, though better benchmark results attributable to newer platform helped to offset those comparatively low overclocked frequencies.
The only problem, then, is that the former build was far cheaper than the current setup, partly because its price went down during the review process. In contrast, today’s machine got more expensive as we reviewed it. The new build still has its performance win though, and we’ll take any win we can get at this point.
We do, however, prefer a system with high-end graphics to game at the resolutions and quality levels that enable as much realism as possible. Remember those tests where both systems were too slow at 2560x1600 to play smoothly, but the new build was the choppier of the two? Even though the performance delta was meaningless at frame rates that low, these results add high-end gaming to the new build’s list of value deficits. This editor again accepts the new build’s performance win as the consolation prize in lieu of poor value.
Looking back at the comparison from which this motherboard was chosen, perhaps MSI’s Z68A-GD55, with heat sinks on all of its voltage regulator phases, would have been the better platform to drop in a system destined to contend with lots of heat. On the other hand, recent verification that, sometimes, a higher-priced motherboard yields far better overclocking results could have compelled us to forgo the graphics card upgrade altogether and spend our money elsewhere. Now that would have been a real coup for the motherboard vendors, right?