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System Builder Marathon: Performance & Value

Benchmark Settings

CrysisVersion: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Supreme CommanderForged AllianceVersion: 1.5.3599, Video Quality: Highest Settings, Demo: WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark: Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Unreal Tournament 3Version: 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details: 5, Level Details: 5, Demo: vCTF-Reflection_bot, Time: 12/60
World in ConflictVersion:, Video Quality: Very High details, Demo: Game-Benchmark
iTunesVersion:, Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD Terminator II SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s
TMPEG 4.5Version: File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.3Encoding mode: Insane QualityEnhanced multi-threadingEnabled using SSE4Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.1.3Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264)MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, Two Channel, 16 Bit, 224 Kbps)Mode: PAL (25 FPS)Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3Version: 10.0x20070321Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-PhotoBenchmark: Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4Filters: Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e,Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version: 8.0.134Virus base: 270.4.5/1533Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
Winrar 3.80Version 3.70 BETA 8WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3Compression = BestDictionary = 4096 KBBenchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Winzip 11Version 11.2Compression = BestBenchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarksWindows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • slomo4sho
    Looking forward to the side by side Intel vs AMD build-offs for the $500 bracket(hopefully you start doing this)

    Also, in future write ups, can you please provide power consumption charts?
  • cangelini
    Slomo4shOLooking forward to the side by side Intel vs AMD build-offs for the $500 bracket(hopefully you start doing this)Also, in future write ups, can you please provide power consumption charts?
    I'll toss the idea around with our authors. Don't see it being a problem--just have to get everyone outfit with the same equipment and methodology. Thanks for the suggestions!
  • dangerous_23
    what about a $750 or $1000 machine - is this not a more realistic price point for most people?
  • zodiacfml
    based on these systems, a person should have an idea to build his 750 or $1000 dollar machines.
    i like most the $500 machine,the best value,simplicity and efficiency,
    only upgrading it to a quad core because i encode HD videos to H264 while surfing the net or watching a video.
    only games crysis and supreme c. required more than 3Ghz so a quad is not a big loss to duals in gaming.
  • dangerous_23
    id very much like to see the benchmarks from a machine costing somewhere between the $500 and $1500 builds
    i bet it would hit the sweet spot!
  • boostercorp
    hi tom's could you tell me where you got the
    2x 20 GB Patriot Viper PC2-6400 CAS 4
    ram ?
    I could use some more then my 8gb i've got now. ;) :p
  • cangelini
    boostercorphi tom's could you tell me where you got the
    You missed it! That was our limited-time $500 super-computer build. ;-)
  • slomo4sho
    And you stuck it in the $1500 machine? I knew you were holding out on that $500 build! :P
  • dirtmountain
    I really enjoy these System Builder Marathons, yeah i'd pick some different components and price brackets, but great stuff anyways. Going with Newegg as a sponsor is a great idea and i sure hope you continue it in the future for other SBM articles. Having a quality retailer like Newegg supply easily available components should really cut down on the logistics of doing these builds and hopefully they can come a bit more often. I'd like to see other SBM brackets e.g. $600 AMD vs. Intel build. Budget quad core builds - AMD 9950 vs. Q6600. Bracket $750 $1,500 $3,000 builds. How about a reader suggested build? Post a bracket, have folks post suggested builds and pick one or a combination of ideas and have your guys put one together. Any way, great job by the staff, good information, brilliant sponsorship by Newegg and a hell of a lot of fun to read, good job.
  • neiroatopelcc
    I'd suggest you upgrade your next $500 build to $650! or lower the $1500 to $1100 or so.
    According to a newsletter I received 4 days ago from one of the leading danish retailers, A basic pc costs $350, a basic gaming pc costs $600, and a 'good' (in their terms) gaming system costs $1000 - they're not selling any base pc with better graphics than an 4850, but it still means that they consider the $1000 to be the mainstream, and $600 to be lowend. Ofcourse the actual component price will be lower, but it's not going to be 25% lower.