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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $1,000 Enthusiast PC

Test System And Benchmarks

Windows 8 is here and we've updated the entire benchmark suite. That's the good news. The bad news is that, in the process of adopting new workloads, new versions, and more applications, we don't have comparison data for some of the tests. Last quarter's numbers are included where applicable, and of course next quarter, we'll have an even more comprehensive suite to present.

Current $1,000 Enthusiast PC Test Settings
Default ConfigurationOverclocked
MotherboardGigabyte DA-970A-D3, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 ChipsetUnchanged
ProcessorAMD FX-8350 (Piledriver): 4 GHz Base Clock Rate, 4.3 GHz Maximum Turbo Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache4.33 GHz @ 1.3375 V
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Blackline: DDR3-1600, 2 x 4 GB (8 GB) Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit1866 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 (GPU Boost)GDDR5 @ 7012 MT/s, GPU @ 1137 MHz (GPU Boost) Power @ 112%, +1 mV
Hard DriveHitachi GST Deskstar 7K1000.C: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalLG GH24NS90 OEM: DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseHEC BlitzUnchanged
PowerCorsair CX600: 600 W, ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged
August $1,000 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 Base Clock Rate, 3.8 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache4.6 GHz @ +0.1 V
MemoryMushkin Enhanced Blackline: DDR3-1600, 2 x 4 GB (8 GB) Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit1866 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 (GPU Boost)GDDR5 @ 6504 MT/s, GPU @ 1241 MHz (GPU Boost), Power @ 121%, +1 mV
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 750 GB: 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 6Gb/sUnchanged
OpticalSamsung SH-222BB/BEBE: 22x DVD BurnerUnchanged
CaseRosewill RedboneUnchanged
PowerCorsair CX600: 600 W, ATX12V, EPS12V, 80 PLUS-CertifiedUnchanged

And here are the benchmark details:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Version 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11, 90-sec. FRAPS "Going Hunting" Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO
Elders Scroll V: SkyrimVersion 1.6.89.06, Version 1.5.26.05 (June), 25-Sec. FRAPS Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48 000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
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)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677, MPEG2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio:MPEG2 (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
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.82: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Best Method, ZIPX Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Entry, Performance, Extreme Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Version: 2012 SP5c-1872, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • CaptainTom
    So a 600w PSU for one 670? Get a 500w, get kingston RAM that is $20 cheaper, a $50-$70 liquid cooler for the FX, and BOOM! More performance for the same price. I get you wanted to test a similar system, but just make that a different article...
    Reply
  • serhat359
    Could have used a 6 or 4-core FX and made more money for a better cpu cooler and case. You have already demonstrated that more than 4 cores aren't used in gaming and here you have an 8 core CPU...
    Reply
  • dkcomputer
    Thats like... The worst possible $1k build. wow
    Reply
  • boulbox
    @Serhat i agree with you but this would be a better all around build. I think he could have done better though
    Reply
  • dkcomputer
    Swap mobo for ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 and processor for a sandybridge i5-2500. No overclocking needed.
    Reply
  • wolley74
    Dat hitachi HDD, you guys do know that Seagate Barracudas are around $70 for 64MB cache 1TB storage and SATA 6 right? and arguably are far more reliable
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    Why wouldn't you drop down a bit to the FX-8320, that's about $40 saved, that could save you enough money to get the 7970 which clock for clock is better than the GTX 670.
    Reply
  • mouse24
    serhat359Could have used a 6 or 4-core FX and made more money for a better cpu cooler and case. You have already demonstrated that more than 4 cores aren't used in gaming and here you have an 8 core CPU...
    Its not 8 core, its 4 core with dual modules per core. Shared resources. Its why you see an increase in performance between a 4300 and an 8320
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    http://valid.canardpc.com/2604796
    Reply
  • yyk71200
    mouse24Its not 8 core, its 4 core with dual modules per core. Shared resources. Its why you see an increase in performance between a 4300 and an 8320No, its other way around. It is 4 module cpu. Each module contains two integer cores (thus 8 cores total) and one FPU. It is more like reduced 8 core than full 8 core. Neverthles, Intel still is better.
    Reply