How We Test & Results
We’re still finishing development of our Windows 10 test suite, so this quarter we're still using our legacy Windows 8 benchmark set.
|Battlefield 4||Version 126.96.36.199, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar" Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO|
|Grid 2||Version 188.8.131.5279, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA|
|Arma 3||Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase" Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF|
|Far Cry 3||V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO|
|Adobe Creative Suite|
|Adobe After Effects CC||Version 184.108.40.2064: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||Version 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates|
|Adobe Premeire Pro CC||Version 7.0.0 (342), 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality|
|iTunes||Version 220.127.116.11 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format|
|Lame MP3||Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 kb/s)|
|Handbrake CLI||Version: 0.99: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48000 Hz, 2-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)|
|TotalCodeStudio 2.5||Version: 18.104.22.16877: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV|
|ABBYY FineReader||Version 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages|
|Adobe Acrobat 11||Version 22.214.171.1249: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption|
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2013||Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080|
|Blender||Version: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1|
|WinZip||Version 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"|
|WinRAR||Version 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"|
|7-Zip||Version 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"|
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings|
|3DMark Professional||Version: 126.96.36.199 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark|
|PCMark 8||Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test|
|SiSoftware Sandra||Version 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks|
Chris gets top position in the charts this time, because we expect the most expensive computer to have the highest performance. The pressure to start out on top pays off in 3DMark and PCMark, but can his machine stay on top?
My $1055 dual-purpose Prosumer PC catches Chris’ machine in Sandra’s CPU tests, but only at stock speed. Chris overclocks his CPU 100MHz higher, while I was able to squeeze out a little more memory bandwidth.
Eric and I use the same graphics card, but my CPU appears to have a slight gaming advantage when using single-monitor resolutions. Some games also respond to better memory performance, and I have a lead there as well. Is Eric’s $895 machine trending towards a top-resolution-only value win?
Using the same CPU as my $1050 machine, Chris’ Radeon R9 390 performs similarly to my GTX 970. The R9 390 does fall significantly behind at Arma 3’s Standard quality, but stages a comeback in triple-monitor Battlefield 4 tests.
The $1184 machine’s loss in Far Cry 3’s High quality single-monitor resolutions appear to point towards the legendary impact of Radeon graphics on CPU performance. More evidence comes from Eric’s mediocre scores at those same settings, since he has the same graphics card (but a weaker CPU compared to the $1055 PC).
The dual-core CPU of Eric’s $895 build loses badly to the quad-core chips in multi-threaded applications, but performs adequately in single-threaded audio encoding. Meanwhile, our Adobe After Effects workload shows that it really needs the extra RAM of my $1055 PC by punishing Chris’ otherwise-similar $1184 gamer.
Adobe Photoshop OpenCL filters treat us to a wide range of configuration data points, preferring my GTX 970 to Chris’ R9 390 and my faster CPU to Eric’s slower model.
Power, Heat & Efficiency
At stock settings, Chris’ CPU uses much less load power than my identical CPU, even though my entire machine has lower idle energy draw than his. Rather than confirm that his Prime95 configuration had both four threads and small FFTs, I’ll hand him a small concession. After all, his GPU load and combined load numbers are terrible.
Even without asking Chris to retest his CPU load wattage, our efficiency chart hands my $1055 machine an enormous “green” victory.