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System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: System Value Compared

Results: 3DMark And PCMark

3DMark shows the expected performance-to-price scaling. It costs around twice as much to boost performance by about half.

Many of PCMark’s tests favor drive performance, giving the $1300 and $2500 PCs advantages that rarely occur in real-world use. With that said, we also know that the benefits of an SSD are often difficult to quantify, since they're largely response-driven. At least we have a mechanism here for crediting the solid-state-equipped systems with higher scores.

Again, PCMark’s storage tests do a good job of representing program startup times, in spite of the fact that most folks spend a small portion of their days waiting for apps to fire up. That’s why we use the most-pertinent access patterns we could think of to make up only 10% of each system’s performance profile.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.