System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $2,500 Performance PC

Test Settings And Benchmarks

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$2,500 Portable Performance PC Test Settings
Row 0 - Cell 0 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardMSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3 Chipset: AMD 790FX/SB750 Unchanged
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X4 955 Four Cores, 3.2 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache3.91 GHz at 1.4875V, 206 MHz HT Clock
Memory2 x Crucial 4GB DDR3-1333 Kit 4 x 2GB (8GB Total), CAS 9-9-9-28DDR3-1648 at 1.65V, CAS 8-7-7-18
Graphics3 x MSI R4890-T2D1G OC (CrossFireX) 880 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3996GDDR5-4600 930 MHz GPU
Hard Drives2 x Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 (RAID 0) 80GB per drive, MLC, 160GB total Unchanged
OpticalLG GGW-H20L BD-RE / HD-DVD ROM 6x BD-R, 2x BD-RE, 16x DVD±R Unchanged
CaseNZXT Panzerbox ATX Mid-Tower Unchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-1000HX Modular 1,000 W ATX12V 2.2, EPS12V 2.91, 80 PLUS Certified Unchanged
CPU CoolerSwiftech H20-220 2 x 120mm Liquid Kit Unchanged
Component CoolingAntec SpotCool LED Cooling Fan Unchanged
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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
Fallout 3Patch, Saved Game "Capital Wasteland" (60 sec) Test Set 1: Highest Details, No AA, No AF Test Set 2: Highest Details, 4x AA, 15x AF
Far Cry 2DirectX 10, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Very High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.XDirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: (x64) Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 64-bit (07-04-2008) Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min wave to MP3
TMPEG 4.6Version: Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.1Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1 Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 Extended, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.80Version 3.80, WinZIP Commandline Version 3.0, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.0, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3Version 2009.4.15.92, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • burnley14
    Just thinking about winning this system in the giveaway gets me excited.
  • jj463rd
    Me too this is an awesome build.
  • DjEaZy
    ... do the video compression using ATi Streem...
  • The Quality of video on ATI streem is shit on sticks and doesn't even support high profile.

    The last build was a bit too odd for me but this one seems like a very nice chose of parts and on a larger screen set up makes a lot of sense the loss of i7 for AMD only build was a bit sad but the addition of those great SSD kind of makes up for me along with the nice chose of case and cooling. That case looks like it is very nice to work on.
  • dirtmountain
    The Corsair CMPSU-850HX is rated Silver, not Gold. Nice build, good results, great work.
  • @Dirtman

    Check your sources because you have it wrong

    CMPSU-850HX ATX12V 850 90.38% Gold
  • one-shot
    Please don't call RAID 1 a backup solution.
  • dirtmountain

    Newegg says differently. I did check sources.
  • dirtmountain
    So does Jonnyguru
    I guess you just can't believe everything you find on a brands site.
    now that is one slick gaming machine! could'nt imagine them frames rates on a big monitor. love the insides water cooling 3 radeon 4890's with room for a 4th. great pictures by the way lots of eye candy. you can tell alot of work went into tis kmonster. great article.