The $750 Computing Challenge: Germany Versus USA

Tom’s Cheap Computing Challenge--The Shootout

Paul Henningsen from our Tom’s Hardware US editorial team was the first to complete his $750 PC system build. Bert Toepelt, in our lab in Munich, Germany, submitted his introduction article a few days later (that story's in German). Both editors aimed to deliver maximum performance and perfect efficiency within our budget of $750. We’ll discuss the German PC configuration and compare test results in this article.

The Rules: Build An Efficient PC Powerhouse For $750

This Tom’s Hardware shootout is as interesting as it is unprecedented. Since we have test labs and offices in various countries—such as the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Taiwan—working together on such a project makes sense. How does the component choice differ in each of these countries? Does cost have a major influence? Which country will be able to reach maximum performance at minimum power requirements?

We selected a representative number of common benchmarks, covering 3D and game performance, audio/video transcoding performance, application performance as well as synthetic performance results. Finally, we added some efficiency tests to check how well the systems do in terms of performance per watt.

Team USA: Core 2 Duo With AMD's Radeon HD 4850

We published the introduction article on the Tom’s Hardware USA $750 system a while back. Paul Henningsen presented his hardware lineup, which fit well into the budget at a total cost of $729. It included a Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16 GHz) with a Gigabyte EP45-DS3L motherboard, 4 GB of DDR2-800 memory by G.Skill, a Radeon HD 4850 graphics card from Sapphire, WD’s current Green Power 1 TB hard drive, and Antec’s Three Hundred case and EA380 power supply.

Now let's check out what the German office is throwing up against Paul's well-balanced configuration.