System Builder Marathon: Day One

Component Table

System Hardware
Processor AMD Athlon X2 3800+ AM2, 2.00 GHz, 1000 FSB, 1 MB Cache
Motherboard MSI K9N4 Ultra-F, BIOS: 1.6 (03/21/2007)
RAM Wintec AMPO PC2-6400
1024 MB, CAS 5-5-5-16
Hard Drive Samsung HD160JJ - P80SD
160 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA 300
Networking NVIDIA nForce onboard Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics Cards Card 1: XFX GeForce 7600 GT
GPU: 580 MHz
RAM: 256 MB 1500 MHz
Power Supply Aero Cool Zerodba 620W Crossfire/SLI ready
System Software & Drivers
OS Microsoft Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600
DirectX Version 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform Driver AMD INF
Graphics Driver - nVIDIA ForceWare 93.71

Test System & Benchmarks

We'll be doing a separate article about each of the PC's we're building: the low-cost PC, midrange PC, and high-end PC. In a fourth article that ties them all together, we'll be comparing benchmark results from the three systems.

For now however, let's have a quick look at our benchmark settings and the results we got from the low-cost PC.


Benchmarks and Settings
F.E.A.R Version: 1.0 Retail
Video Mode: 1024x768
Computer: Maximum
Graphics: Maximum-Custom-No Softshadows
Test Path: Options/Performance/Test Settings
Doom 3 Version: 1.3
Video Mode: 1024x768
Graphics: High
Test: Time Demo 1
Oblivion Version: 1.0 Retail
Video Mode: 1024x768
Graphics: High, 4xAA
Test: Inside & Outside save files
Lame MP3 Version 3.97 Beta 2 (12-22-2005)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to mp3
160 kbps
OGG Version 1.1.2 (Intel P4 MOD)
Version 1.1.2 (Intel AMD MOD)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to ogg
Quality: 5
TMPEG 3.0 Express Version: (no Audio)
fist 5 Minutes DVD Terminator 2 SE (704x576) 16:9
Multithreading by rendering
DivX 6.1 Version: 6.1
Profile: High Definition Profile
1-pass, 3000 kbit/s
Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading
no Audio
XviD 1.1.0 Version: 1.1.0 Beta 2
Target qantizer: 1.00
Autodesk 3D Studio Max Version: 8.0
Characters "Dragon_Charater_rig"
rendering HTDV 1920x1080 & 1280x720
SPECviewperf 9 Version: 9.0.3
PCMark05 Pro Version: 1.1.0
System, CPU and Memory Tests
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Encoder
3DMark05 Version: 1.2
System Test Only
SiSoftware Sandra 2005 Version 2005.7.10.60
CPU Test = Arithmetic, Multimedia Benchmarks
Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • Anonymous
    I built the May 8, 2007 $500 system and was well pleased with it. I went with 2 GB ram but the rest was from the article. In 2011, the video card died from ruptured capacitors. I really miss that card as it was impressive.
    Now, I am considering going with 4 GB ram and upgrading the power supply to support a 22 amp video card. Maybe a processor upgrade also.