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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

Given an identical processor and overclock, our productivity-oriented tests are going to have to benefit from our SSD.

The games are installed on the same Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB hard drive as last time, so any performance differences in that segment have to be attributed to our two GeForce GTX 460s in SLI instead of the previous Radeon HD 6850 CrossFire configuration.

Current $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
June $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardMSI P67A-G43 LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipsetUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache4500 MHz at 1.4 V
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-22-1T @ 666 MHzUnchanged
Graphics2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850  1 GB GDDR5 @ 1050 MHzGPU @ 820 MHzGDDR5 @ 1100 MHz GPU @ 875 MHz
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG GH22MS7022x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseXclio NighthawkUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 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