Core i5 And Radeon HD 7970 For $1000
With all of the individual tests out of the way, we combine our results into average gaming and application performance results.
Knowing that these two PCs sport the same CPU and graphics processor, our results aren't particularly surprising. Then again, when you take into account that this quarter's system is priced $250 less, comes armed with 2 GB less memory, and doesn't include an SSD, we get a sense for this machine's reasonable balance.
Of course, we know that an SSD doesn't reflect well in our benchmark suite, despite the faster boot-up, quicker application loading, and overall improved responsiveness it offers. You'll just have to keep those endearing qualities in mind when you decide where to budget for your next machine.
As for the extra memory last quarter's machine feature, it does provide peace of mind, and it can come into play when you're using many applications concurrently. But, in general, 4 GB still gets the job done. As for our second memory channel, it didn't make much of a difference, either. Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture just doesn't seem all that bandwidth-starved, even when it's hobbled by a bad motherboard running in single-channel mode.
At the end of the day, Intel's Core i5-2400 remains a solid performer at its stock settings, though its locked clock multiplier makes it a bit of a challenge for overclocking. We really only picked it in order to stay under our budget, though. So don't feel guilty about splurging on a Core i5-2500K (or even an Ivy Bridge-based Core i5-3570K). We would have done the same, more than likely, given a little extra room for spending. Without question, we're done with this experiment, and we'll be aiming for a more potent processor in next quarter's effort.
And how about that Sapphire HD 7970 OC? Although it was priced well within the bounds of affordability a month ago, a recent shot up to $580 on Newegg pretty much takes it out of contention in today's build. As a result, we're happy to point you in the direction of Sapphire's non-overclocked Radeon HD 7970, which costs a little bit less.
Then again, if you're spending big money on graphics, we have a hard time ignoring the GeForce GTX 670 at $400 (though many models are creeping up higher). Were we to do this build over again today, it'd probably have a GK104-based card in it instead. If prices stay where they are today, you can count on us using the savings from a GeForce GTX 670 for a faster CPU or maybe an SSD next time around.
May want to put "do" in there, instead ;)
Basically the whole article tests the improvements of a single channel over a dual channel RAM.
Because if not, I would posit that the i5-2380p is a better CPU choice than the i5-2400:
1) You've not got a huge need for the IGP, what with the 7970 (I could see it could still have use, but I don't think it would be that helpful)
2) From what I've read on Newegg's page for the 2380p (which they no longer sell), the 2380p is a great overclocker (up to 4.5Ghz according to one reviewer)
3) It costs the same as the 2400, with the same stock clocks
Apart from that, I think it's a pretty solid build. A little too much corner-cutting compared to what I would've chosen, but I'd probably put together something rather standard and boring.
Yeah I totally agree, I would have loved to see a 3570k and a gtx 670 because those two seem like the popular choice right now. Who sets this budget anyways? "We didn't wan't to go over" umm is there like a slow painful death if you go over the budget or what? Set the budget higher then. Hope the next round of these is better.
As of right now at the time of this post, the sapphire 7970 o/c on newegg is at $480. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102982 So i can only assume whatever price hike has been dealt with?
Good job on making a computer perform about the same for $250 less! I'm sure if I was to build a computer right now this would give quite a bit of breathing room. Not everyone has quarter of a grand to throw around.
Downside is it does feel like you guys ran outta ideas on new combinations. I think I'd be kind of interested in either a SLI config 560 ti or 7850s. But the 7850 would've pushed it past budget I think. I'd still vote on the SSD though!