Without other systems to compare it to, the only reasonable conclusions we can arrive at regarding our low-cost build is that the price is great, it's stable, and it's a capable gaming machine even at the high 1920x1200 resolution.
The system is certainly no slouch, and is pleasant to work with. The questions that remain are: How will it stack up, dollar for dollar, vs. the mid-range and high-end builds? And how much will performance improve when the system is overclocked?
Traditionally, the low-cost system has always beaten the other systems in the performance-per-dollar analysis. This is because paying 200 or 300% more money for hardware will almost never equate to a 200 or 300% increase in performance. On Friday, we'll add another view of performance-per-dollar that focuses on the potential benefits of higher cost systems for gaming at higher resolutions.
As far as overclocking, the Phenom core has a dismal outlook in this regard and we're almost certainly going to see that in the overclocking tests. But perhaps the HIS ICE-Q Turbo will surprise us in this regard. Stay tuned!
Here's a list of the System Builder Marathon (SBM) articles in this five day series.
- Day 1: The Low-Cost PC
- Day 2: The Mid-Cost PC
- Day 3: The High-Cost PC
- Day 4: All Three SBM PCs Overclocked
- Day 5: Summary - The Price/Performance Winner