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System Builder Marathon Q3 2014: Budget Gaming PC

Results: Audio And Video

Armed with a 3.2 GHz dual-core Pentium processor, our newest PC starts off at a raw compute resource disadvantage. Last quarter, Turbo Core bolstered Trinity’s operating frequency up to 3.7 GHz, reaching as high as 4.0 GHz in single-threaded tasks. But overclocking just about evens the playing field, since we came up only 100 MHz shy of matching last quarter’s efforts.

The Pentium’s greater per-clock performance makes quick work of AMD’s pricier Athlon in single-threaded iTunes and LAME MP3 audio encoding workloads.

Juggling only two threads at a time, the little Pentium’s weakness is threading-optimized tasks. Even still, had we lucked out with a more willing chip, this overclocked PC might have been able to catch last quarter’s machine in HandBrake and TotalCode Studio.