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System Builder Marathon: Overclocking

Introduction

After several days of system descriptions and basic testing, we reach the most anticipated portion of this month’s System Builder Marathon: the overclocking competition. All three of our new builds are purposely designed to offer the best overclocking performance for the dollar, which is almost certain to provide the biggest gains to the slowest processor. Yet excessive cooling provides a glimmer of hope for our most expensive system, and that’s where we’re starting this month.

Before we move on to individual system details, here’s a look at the one constant for all systems: the benchmark set.

3D-Games
CrysisVersion: 1.1
Video Quality 1: High Details No Anti-Aliasing
Video Quality 2: Very High Details, 4x Anti-Aliasing
Benchmark: Benchmark_CPU.bat
PreyVersion: 1.3
Video Quality 1: Default (No AA, 8x AF)
Video Quality 2: High Quality, 4x AA
Benchmark: THG-Demo
SupremeVersion: 3.220
CommanderVideo Quality 1: Default
Video Quality 2: High Fidelity, High Shadow, 4x AA
Benchmark: Real 60 Game
UnrealVersion: Retail
Tournament 3Texture Detail: 5
World Detail: 5
Field of View: 100
Benchmark: Botmatch (WAR-Torlan, 12 bots, 1 Minute)
WarhammerVersion: 1.6
Mark of ChaosVideo Quality:Default (Highest Settings)
Demo: THG Timedemo (1 Minute)
Audio
iTunes 7.2Version: 7.1.1.5
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
High Quality (160kb/s)
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to MP3
160kb/s
Video
TMPEGEncVersion: 4.2.10.211
4.0 XpressImport File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 kHz, 6-Channel, English
Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 kb/s)
DivX 6.6Version: 6.6.1
Profile: Home Theater Profile (720x576)
1-pass, 780 kb/s
Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading
XviD 1.1.2Version: 1.1.2
Target quantizer: 1.00 (maximum quality)
Applications
AdobeVersion: 10.0x20070321
Photoshop CS3Filtering 69 MB TIF Photo
Benchmark: Tom’s Guide-Benchmark V1.0.0.4
AutodeskVersion: 9.0
3D Studio MaxRendering One Video Frame
Quality: HTDV 1920x1080 and 1280x720
Grisoft AVGVersion: 7.5.467
Anti-VirusVirus Base: 269.6.1/776
Benchmark: Scanning 3.82GB Application Folder
MaxonVersion: 10.008
Cinema 4DResolution: 1280x1024
Benchmark: Rose Drop, 8 bits (50 Frames)
Rarlab WinrarVersion 3.70 BETA 8
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096 kB
Uncompressed Folder Size: 642 MB
Synthetics
SPECviewperf 9Version: 9.0.3
PCMark05 ProVersion: 1.1.0
System, CPU and Memory Tests
Windows Media Player 11.0.6000.6324
Windows Media Encoder 9.00.00.2980
FuturemarkVersion 1.10
3DMark 2006System Test Only
SiSoftwareVersion 2008.1.12.30
Sandra XIICPU Test = CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia
Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark

And now for the results!