SBM 2: Mid Cost System

Optical Drive: Sony NEC Optiarc 7170 SATA

The final part carried over from our previous midrange build is the Sony NEC Optiarc 7170 Serial ATA drive. We could have replaced it with a slightly faster 20x model, but there simply wasn't enough of a performance difference for us to justify buying a replacement model.

The drive's speeds approach those of the fastest drives: DVD-R and +R writes of 18x; DVD+RW and -RW rewrites of 8x and 6x; DVD+R and -R Dual Layer disk writes of 8x; CD-R and -RW writes of 48x and 32x; and DVD-RAM writes of 12X. Best of all, the Optiarc 7170 SATA sells for only $35.

This build's 650i SLI chipset would have natively supported an ATA drive, but who wants wide cables? The difference in price between ATA and SATA versions is typically less than $5.

Test Setup

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System Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600, 2.40 GHz, 1066 FSB, 8 MB Cache
MotherboardMSI P6N SLI Platinum, BIOS 1.4 (07/31/2007)
RAMPDP Patriot PC2-6400, 2x 1024 MB, CAS 4.0-4-4-12
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000YS
NetworkingnVidia nForce onboard Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics CardsEVGA GeForce 8800 GTX, 768 MB RAM576 MHz GPU, 1800 MHz RAM Data Rate
Power SupplyAeroCool ZERODBA-S620
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform DriverIntel INF
Graphics Driver6.14.11.5822 - nVidia ForceWare 158.22

Benchmarks And Settings

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Benchmarks and Settings
F.E.A.RVersion: 1.0 RetailVideo Mode: 1024x768Computer: MaximumGraphics: Maximum-Custom-No SoftshadowsTest Path: Options/Performance/Test Settings
Doom 3Version: 1.3Video Mode: 1024x768Graphics: HighTest: Time Demo 1
OblivionVersion: 1.0 RetailVideo Mode: 1024x768Graphics: High, 4xAATest: Inside & Outside save files
Lame MP3Version 3.97 Beta 2 (12-22-2005)Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to mp3160 kbps
OGGVersion 1.1.2 (Intel P4 MOD)Version 1.1.2 (Intel AMD MOD)Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to oggQuality: 5
TMPEG 3.0 ExpressVersion: (no Audio)fist 5 Minutes DVD Terminator 2 SE (704x576) 16:9Multithreading by rendering
DivX 6.6Version: 6.6Profile: High Definition Profile1-pass, 3000 kbit/sEncoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multithreadingno Audio
XviD 1.1.3Version: 1.1.3Target quantizer: 1.00
Autodesk 3D Studio MaxVersion: 8.0Characters "Dragon_Charater_rig"rendering HTDV 1920x1080 & 1280x720
SPECviewperf 9Version: 9.0.3
PCMark05 ProVersion: 1.1.0System, CPU and Memory TestsWindows Media Player Media Encoder
3DMark05Version: 1.2System Test Only
SiSoftware Sandra 2005Version 2005.7.10.60CPU Test = Arithmetic, Multimedia BenchmarksMemory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark