Tom's New Reference System

Tom's Hardware is turning up the heat in 2008. With multiple hardware test labs and editorial teams in the US, Germany, France, Italy and Taiwan, we want to capitalize on our resources. The first step is the creation of a standard test platform, which will allow us to exchange certain test results, and to cooperate on important articles. A second step will be a common set of benchmarks in certain hardware categories. Clearly, our goal is a larger pool of test results for articles, which we can then provide to you, our faithful readers.

Some of you might wonder why we haven't done this before. The first reason has been due to history: most of the testing for our reviews has traditionally been performed at certain locations. Our team in Munich typically has been the resource to work on platform and processor reviews - or at least, to work on the testing and benchmarking. We will continue the tradition by having our editors work on what they do best, but we'll now provide the necessary hardware to all test locations in order to capitalize on each other's resources and knowledge. The second reason has a business background: we also want to grow within the competitive publishing market, which can only be done by doing what we do best and by working closely together.

Tom's Hardware has collected a set of 15 test systems based on upper class components, which we distributed across our test labs. The reference test system configuration consists of a modern X38 motherboard with a Core 2 Duo processor, a sophisticated processor cooler, DD3 memory, a 500 GB hard drive Compare Prices on 500 GB Hard Drives , a Radeon HD graphics card and a powerful 850 W PSU. Editors may add other hardware as required. The reference system can be used as the standard test platform for reviewing other hardware that requires a PC to be operated, or it can be the basis for core component reviews. We selected the components according to current benchmark results and features, to ensure that the reference system will work in as many review situations as possible, and that we can keep using it at least until the middle of 2008.

We will follow up with some additions to the reference system soon. We'll have a DVD drive, and MSI will provide a motherboard for socket AM2+ as well.

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  • prodevel
    I happened to buy smart or dumb enough to pretty much buy this rig a few - several months after it came out... I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game
  • prodevel
    *I bought this rig several months ago and have LOVED it. I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game.*


    Not sure what happened there w/the prev...
  • Hothr
    Why do you use awful color schemes like this in your graphs? Yesterday's $1,250 machine benchmark graphs were the first I had actually been able to easily read. Light/Dark + Blue/Green/Red makes SO much sense. I can easily tell which system is which, and which bar is the overclocked bar. Blue, Green, Red, Purple shows no information on whether it is overclocked or not, and does not provide an easy way to tell which system is which.
    To make things worse, the key at the bottom of every graph (that I have to look at every time) is always in a different order.

    Can we please have more graphs like the $1,250 build?,2146-12.html
  • Hothr
    wrong article, sorry.