Average Performance And Efficiency
Efficiency compares energy to work, and the easiest way to combine different units of work, such as frames per second (games), to seconds per frame (3ds Max) is to use a percent scale. The “slowest” configuration sets the baseline.
Almost incredibly, good storage performance is the only thing that prevents the $1200 PC from falling behind the $600 build at stock settings!
Most users benefit less quantifiably from a fast drive than a fast CPU or graphics card, so we weighed the above average scores in an overall performance calculation that gave storage 10 percent of the total. Encoding, games, and productivity suites comprise the other 90%. The resulting performance comparison is shown in the center (green) bar of our efficiency chart, with the baseline zeroed by subtracting 100% from every configuration.
Using the weakest configuration as the baseline for both performance and power calculations and dividing those results shows how much more or less efficient the other configurations turn out to be. We again zeroed out the chart by subtracting 100% from each calculation.
At 118% above baseline performance, the most powerful overclocked $2400 PC consumes 240% more power that its weakest rival, for a 36% loss in efficiency. It appears that an increase in memory voltage alone was enough to push down the efficiency of the overclocked $600 PC, which we actually expected to go up.