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System Builder Marathon: Performance & Value

Benchmark Results: 3D Games

Crysis has always put a strain on the latest hardware when visual quality or video resolution is increased, and our $4,500 PC was the only one that could smoothly play at resolutions in excess of 1920x1200 pixels. We narrowed our results to more realistic resolutions, but found that our highest-priced system was required for smooth game play even at an ordinary 1680x1050 resolution.

In Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, our $1,500 PC survives to 1920x1200 pixels resolution with anti-aliasing turned off. Only our best machine could perform smoothly at high resolutions with anti-aliasing on, and the cheapest system couldn’t even cope at our lowest settings. However, some choppiness and/or lower details may be acceptable to many RTS players.

Unreal Tournament 3 players will be happy to see the $500 PC showing excellent performance at all settings.

Our second RTS game is perfectly playable by the $1,500 PC, though once again some choppiness in the $500 system will be acceptable to many players of this gaming genre.

  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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?
    Slo,
    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!
    Reply
  • dangerous_23
    what about a $750 or $1000 machine - is this not a more realistic price point for most people?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • cangelini
    boostercorphi tom's could you tell me where you got the
    You missed it! That was our limited-time $500 super-computer build. ;-)
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    And you stuck it in the $1500 machine? I knew you were holding out on that $500 build! :P
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply