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System Builder Marathon, Q3 2013: $350 Bonus Entry-Level PC

Results: Audio And Video

Before moving onto a bigger challenge like gaming, lets see how well AMD’s A10-5800K stacks up to Intel’s Pentium G860 in various multimedia workloads.

We’ve logged enough time in the lab to know that CPUs like the FX-6300 need about 50% higher clock rates to match the per-core performance of a 3.0 GHz Sandy Bridge-based Pentium. With that in mind, we weren’t expecting Trinity to fair any better in iTunes and LAME. Fortunately, high base frequencies are further boosted by Turbo Core to keep the $350 PC delivering at least 90% of the $400 machine’s performance, preventing all-out embarrassment.

On the flip-side, the ability to execute four threads allows the $350 PC to finish 50-70 percent faster in the well-threaded HandBrake and TotalCode Studio workloads. Overall, the cheap machine walks away from our A/V suite leading by a healthy margin.