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System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $1000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

We expect the new build to punish our previous Core i5-2400-based effort, particularly when it's overclocked, thanks to its 1 GHz advantage. The previous system's result, overclocked, may be able to pace today's stock configuration. In GPU-bottlenecked games, performance should be pretty similar since the GeForce GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7970 are competitive. However, when the CPU gums up frame rates, our overclocked Ivy Bridge-based part should facilitate an easy win.

Current $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Default ConfigurationOverclocked
MotherboardASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance, LGA 1155, Intel P67 Express chipsetUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge), 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache4.6 GHz @ +0.1 V
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Blackline 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600 Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, 1333 MT/s CAS 9-9-9-24-1T1866 MT/s 9-9-9-24-1T @ 1.6 V
GraphicsGigabyte GeForce GTX 670 GV-N670OC-2GD  2 GB GDDR5 @ 6008 MT/s, GPU @ 1058 MHz boostGDDR5 @ 6504 MT/s, GPU @ 1241 MHz boostPower @ 121%, +1 mV
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 6Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalSamsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseRosewill RedboneUnchanged
PowerCorsair CX600 V2 600 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged
June 2012 $1000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Default ConfigurationOverclocked
MotherboardGigabyte GA-P67X-UD3-B3, LGA 1155, Intel P67 Express chipsetUnchanged
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Turbo Boost), Quad-Core, 6 MB L3 Cache3.6 to 3.8 GHz @ +0.1 V
MemoryAMD Performance Edition 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, CAS 8-9-8-24-1TUnchanged
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC  3 GB GDDR5 @ 5500 MT/s, GPU @ 1110 MHzGDDR5 @ 6500 MT/s, GPU @ 1243 MHz, Power @ +20%
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 750 GB 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 6Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG GH22NS90B OEM DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseLogisys Optimus IIUnchanged
PowerCorsair CX600 V2 600 W ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged

And here's the list of benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF) Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.4.27, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
StarCraft IICustom map "Tom's Hardware Guide V2", 60 seconds Fraps Test Set 1: High Details, High Quality Test Set 2: Ultra Details, Extreme Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: 2.2.0.5440: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (650 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (650 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (650 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.10.17.80, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • alchemy69
    Bring on the usual motley crew of those who could have done it so much better.
    Reply
  • lighter17
    What's going on with the processor price. The i5-3570k is $230 not $300. Then there's no mention of the CPU cooler in the price list.

    And you're pairing an Ivy Bridge CPU with a P67 motherboard to save a few dollars?

    Does anybody proofread these articles?
    Reply
  • lunyone
    ^^^ Just noticed and was starting to type that same mistake too :)
    +1 for the p67 and not a maybe a B75 based mobo like:

    or

    Z77 based mobo for ~$95 shipped??


    Just a though on the mobo situation....

    Reply
  • lunyone
    ^^^ Links didn't work, trying again below:

    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    i love how much difference a few months had on the performance.

    Just want to mention : i dont see the use of including an optical drive in 2012. i cant remember the last time i used an optical drive. And with digital sales outselling physical discs, i dont see why it is included.
    Its not about saving $15. Its about buying a part that you will be using less than a couple of times in an year.probably lesser.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    lighter17What's going on with the processor price. The i5-3570k is $230 not $300. Then there's no mention of the CPU cooler in the price list. And you're pairing an Ivy Bridge CPU with a P67 motherboard to save a few dollars?Does anybody proofread these articles?Good catch. Not sure what was up with Don's pricing, but his CPU was way off, and he forgot to include the cooler in his price list. I've updated it, and it's only $7 bucks off his original quote, so we're still in good shape. Appreciate the sharp eye, guys!
    Chris
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    mayankleoboy1i love how much difference a few months had on the performance.Just want to mention : i dont see the use of including an optical drive in 2012. i cant remember the last time i used an optical drive. And with digital sales outselling physical discs, i dont see why it is included. Its not about saving $15. Its about buying a part that you will be using less than a couple of times in an year.probably lesser.I think there is still a place for optical drives. I just finished a new tower build myself, an i5 3570k myself with the same video card on an Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe. I put in a Blur Ray burner that was only $90. With almost all new phones doing 1080p video, I can burn discs for friends and family of personal videos. People also still have CD players in cars and honestly, on a price per GB bases, it's still the best form of backup.
    Reply
  • 60 gb SSD? why bother?
    Reply
  • blackball3242
    The asrock professional series is shown whereas the actual motherboard being used is the performance series.

    I almost thought the motherboard had 3 pcie slots for only $100- that would have been a steal!
    Reply
  • nathcarter
    Any particular reason for P67 over Z77? Is it purely cost-based, or are there significant performance benefits?
    Reply