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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: System Value Compared

Which One Of These Builds Is For You?

Though each build came in at or under budget when all of the parts were ordered, adjusted prices measured a week before the series went live were used to calculate a more recent performance-per-dollar chart.

The cheapest PC remains on top, as usual, since performance never scales in perfect proportion to complexity (and thus, price).

The real surprise is where the $2400 PC mixes things up with the $1200 PC, providing roughly equal value, even in the face of its diminishing returns. The $1200 PC’s performance-per-dollar should fall between that of the two other two builds unless it has a serious flaw.

Even high-end gaming scores that should have highlighted its Radeon HD 6950s in CrossFire are unable to save the $1200 system. The $600 PC simply can't compete at this level, though a 2560x1600 value comparison to the $1200 build could have at least been entertaining.

In the end, we have a $600 PC that vastly outperformed expectations, a $1200 PC that we’ve written off as horribly imbalanced, and a $2400 that costs too much (though it didn't bust past our budget). Most of us would prefer the $2400 PC, but still put that $600 build to good use during this economically wily holiday season.

  • Darkerson
    I dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much can spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me.

    Edit: Fixed typo. Oops :p
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    The 1200$ pc doesn't perform well in comparison to the 600$ pc
    Reply
  • Dacatak
    DarkersonI dont even know what to say about how screwed up the Bulldozer build is. The fact that a build that cost half as much cant spank it in most regards is just sad. I hope AMD is able to save some face when the revised Bulldozers come out, but sadly, it will be too late for me.
    I'm guessing you meant "can" spank.

    And spank it does.
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    So the "oopsie" build this quarter with be replacing the $1200 with a i5-2500k?
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    9524931 said:
    I'm guessing you meant "can" spank.

    And spank it does.
    Yeah, thats what i meant.
    Reply
  • zloginet
    Just curious how 2x 6950s loose to a 580.... My AMD 1100t @ 4.2 with a MSI R6970 Twin FrozrIII isn't much behind a 580... This is a joke.
    Reply
  • zloginet
    zloginetJust curious how 2x 6950s loose to a 580.... My AMD 1100t @ 4.2 with a MSI R6970 Twin FrozrIII isn't much behind a 580... This is a joke.
    NM, the original part of the thread I thought I read 1x 580, now I see 2x...
    Reply
  • zloginet
    zloginetNM, the original part of the thread I thought I read 1x 580, now I see 2x...
    I need to reply once more... 2x 6950s and a extremely overclocking BD 6100 with only a 650watt ps? These fuggen builds suck
    Reply
  • slicedtoad
    9524937 said:
    I need to reply once more... 2x 6950s and a extremely overclocking BD 6100 with only a 650watt ps? These fuggen builds suck
    whats the matter with 650W?

    gaming tdp of 6950s = max 160 * 2 = 320
    bd 6100 95W officially.

    320 + 160 = 480
    overclocking won't need more than an extra 100W max.

    nothing else uses much power. These are budget builds, they're not made for upgradeability.

    EDIT: LOL, I just looked at your profile. Your system has a 1200W PSU for one 6970.
    I'm laughing, yet cringing at the waste of money.
    Reply
  • silverblue
    There is something horribly wrong with putting multiple GPUs on Bulldozer. I've seen time and time again that a single GPU is generally the faster option. Probably would've made more sense to have the FX6100 build as the $600 one and elevated the $600 build to a dual-GPU config as the CPU can actually cope.

    I think we need a single/multiple GPU article to find out if there's anything that can be rescued from this. Throw in a couple of different motherboards, that sort of thing. Does memory speed make a big difference? Would Windows 8 Beta help in any way?
    Reply