SBM 3: High-End System

Conclusion, Continued

A huge lead in Oblivion puts our current build ahead of the former build by a very noticeable 17%, nearly 3x the price difference.

DivX's irrational favoritism for quad-core processors leads to the current build's average application performance gains being 69% over the previous build, almost 16 times the price difference.

Synthetic benchmarks test a broader range of use scenarios than our "narrow" set of applications, but the new system still shows a significant 28% overall improvement compared to our previous build. For anyone keeping score, that's over six times the difference in current component prices.

Hopefully the new system will also have superior overclocking capabilities compared to our previous build, so please check back for tomorrow's overclocking competition!

Author's Opinion

The current build is certainly faster than the older one, but I still have my doubts about its value standing in Friday's multi-system comparison. Perhaps overclocking will make all the difference, but then again, Don Woligroski's low-cost build uses the even better-overclocking E6750.

Anyone looking to copy our build should take another look at the problems we faced when assembling the system in Thermaltake's Armor LCS chassis. A small amount of case modification was required simply to get the parts to fit, and it's still not a perfect solution. Yet the Armor LCS is one of the few "traditional" cases to come pre-fit with a double 120 mm radiator, and we can't recommend a better liquid cooled system case at this time.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.