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System Builder Marathon: Performance And Value Compared

Power, Average Performance, And Efficiency

A Quad-SLI array of two GeForce GTX 295 graphics units puts the $2,500 build at a huge disadvantage in our power consumption test. The $625 system is a true energy saver by comparison.

Second-place performance simply isn’t good enough for a system that costs nearly twice as much and uses nearly twice the power. We don’t need to see an efficiency chart to know where the $2,500 system is going to stand, but what about the other systems?

The red bars are most significant in the chart above, as these are calculated by dividing performance by power consumption using the most miserly system as a baseline. Overclocking gave the $625 PC an average performance boost of 31% with a net power increase of 12%, increasing efficiency by 17%.

Efficiency for the $2,500 build is horrific, but overclocking the $1,250 system brings it at least up to the $625 system’s efficiency baseline.