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System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

We're skipping the relatively unsuccessful Core i3 build we put together in December 2010 when it comes to comparing synthetic and application benchmark results. Instead, we’re using our build from September 2010's SBM. The new Core i5-2500K/Radeon HD 6950 combo is an interesting competitor for September’s Core i5-750/GeForce GTX 470 system, and the results below show how much the new Sandy bridge CPU changes versus that Core i5-700- series-based build.

For gaming, we include December's Core i3 system and its dual GeForce GTX 460 graphics muscle. We’re in the middle of upgrading our SBM gaming suite, so two of the new game titles we’re using don’t include the Core i5-750/GeForce GTX 470 system we built back in September.

Current $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA 1155, Intel P67 chipsetUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K3.3 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache4400 MHz at 1.3 V
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-20-1TUnchanged
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 6950  2 GB GDDR5 @ 1250 MHz1408-shader Cayman GPU @ 800 MHzGDDR5 @ 1300 MHz GPU modded to 1536 shaders @ 880 MHz
Hard DrivesSamsung Spinpoint 1 TB 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalAsus DRW-24B1ST24x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseIn-Win AndroidUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings (December 2010)
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus Sabertooth 55i Chipset: Intel P55Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i3-5503.2 GHz, Dual-Core, 4 MB L3 Cache4019 MHz at 1.35 V,167.5 MHz BCLK
MemoryGeIL Black Dragon 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 7-7-7-24-1TDDR3-1004, CAS 7-7-7-24-1T
Graphics2 x ECS NBGTX460 (SLI) 1 GB GDDR5-3700 Per CardGeForce GTX 460 GPU at 765/1530 MHz core/shadersGDDR5-3800 825/1650 MHz core/shaders
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 750 GB 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG 22x DVD-GH22LS50 OEM22x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROMUnchanged
CaseNZXT GammaUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged
$1000 Enthusiast PC (September 2010)
Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardAsus P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156, Intel P55 chipset, BIOS 1003Unchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750  2.66 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB L3 Cache3.75 GHz, 178 MHz Reference Clock
MemoryCrucial 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 9-9-9-24-1TDDR3-1070, CAS 8-8-8-22-1T
GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 470 1280 MB GDDR5-3348 Per Card 607/1215 MHz GPU/Shaders, 837 MHz MemGDDR5-4500 690/1380 MHz GPU/Shaders, 845 MHz Mem
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Caviar Black 640 GB 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLite-On iHAS12424x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 48x CD ROMUnchanged
CaseAntec Three HundredUnchanged
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650HX 650 W ATX12V, EPS12V , 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged

And here's a list of the 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
DiRT 2In-game benchmarkTest Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AATest Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AATest Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of PripyatS.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat benchmark versionTest Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AATest Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
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
Just Cause 2In-game benchmark: Concrete JungleTest Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AFTest Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
F1 2010In-game benchmarkTest Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AATest Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion: 9.0.2.25 x64Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 minDefault format AAC
HandBrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob filefrom "The Last Samurai" (1 GB) to .mp4 High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2) Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF ImageRadial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • americanherosandwich
    That is one funky looking case. Great $1k system!
    Reply
  • toxxel
    That case is a behemoth.
    Reply
  • dirtmountain
    After seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    dirtmountainAfter seeing that case i was afraid for Princess Leia.
    LOL
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    Crazy looking case, but nice system overall!
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    for 1k usd seems to be a cheap system.. hmm nice review, is good to see that new processors are really efficient even when overclocked ..to bad about the 22cm cooler of the side panel of that funny case. My Armor+ has exactly the same issue with a V6gt cooler and I decided to go back to my hyper212+ :D.
    Reply
  • ava__
    you forgot to add the cost of your beloved Windows
    Reply
  • Crashman
    cangeliniLOLHuh?
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    9511317 said:
    Huh?
    Good to see the Tom's team is on the same page XD
    Reply
  • AkIRA_22
    that has to be the ugliest case I've ever seen in my life. At the end of the day the case is 100% taste, to 'recommend' a case is futile.
    Reply