Results: 3DMark And PCMark
3DMark shows that the Radeon R9 290X was a great choice for my $1600 PC, almost propping it up as the CPU trips over itself in the overclocking portion.
The $1200 machine’s Radeon R9 290 still looks strong, though perhaps weaker than expected in comparison to the expensive machine’s single-GPU flagship.
Paul's $600 PC necessarily includes a weaker graphics card, though that's still a boon to value since the half-priced platform achieves more than half of Don's performance.
Paul figured out the trick to Don’s improved PCMark scores, and I eventually got in on the secret too: an error in the batch process produced low (but consistent) Home and Creative scores, so we re-ran this benchmark manually.
Because PCMark’s storage scores are based on real-world load times, they’re the only synthetic metrics that make it into our final performance analysis. All three systems feature a WD Blue 1 TB disk. However, my $1600 machine uses it as a secondary drive, backing a 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD.
I got my two licenses for like, $20. Though I probably couldn't get any more like that, I don't need any more at the moment, thanks. If you don't want the OS, and you win my PC, just tell me and I'll keep it. Thanks!
Disposition should I be a fortunate winner:
1. Having not messed with a "new" Athlon, I might put a 92mm cooler on it and see what I can get out of it for a week or three. I'd almost certainly contribute a SSD to it, then most likely donate it to a startup I know of that actually is more in need of office-type PCs (but they do play some games).
2. If the motherboard were micro-ATX, I'd probably use most of these parts to upgrade / replace my Phoenix PC, as they represent a platform upgrade. It would be a substantial upgrade to my Omega PC, but I like the idea of maintaining that AM3+ system due to the overall quality of the parts in it. If the Apevia case surprises me due to its quality, I may use it anyway. One way or another, this would lead to another complete system donation though.
3. The parts in this one appear to be of sufficient quality / durability that I would probably end up forsaking the Omega PC for this one. I'd put its 990FX onto my test bench though to keep it around, and donate that one (MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming) as above.