Skip to main content

System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $2000 Performance PC

Power, Heat, And Efficiency

We knew that two GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards would hurt our power consumption numbers, but we had no idea that this system would pull over 1000 W when overclocked. 80 PLUS independent testing shows 84% efficiency for this power supply at this load level, so component power consumption was closer to 900 W.

AMD’s thermal junction appears to be miscalibrated for this generation of CPU core, consistently reporting temperatures below ambient. Anyone who thinks they can make the corrections will want the raw data (15° and 31° Celsius at stock speeds [idle and load], 19° and 42° overclocked, at an ambient temperature of 21.6°).

Increased fan speed keeps the GPU cores “cool enough” when overclocked.

The June build was a better overall performer, setting this month’s system up for complete failure in an efficiency calculation.

Because overclocking increased performance to a greater degree than power consumption, both systems had higher full-load efficiency when pushed to the limit. Unfortunately, the new system faired far worse at its best efficiency settings than the previous system at its worst.

  • IzzyCraft
    Love the case choice everything else is pretty much can't really hate it or love it, but i mean you can't really hate any of the parts when they cost that much as they are all good but some just not right for some jobs.
    I do not care for AMD and SLI just because you'll be using an nvidia chipset and my past experiences with them have been poor.
    I also do not care for 6 cores for games although i mostly use my computer for other things which may like those 6 cores, but i don't find too many uses for 2 480's outside of gaming.

    Hopefully the next one will be one i can't help but agree with, A i5-750/760 with 2 460's in sli :D
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    This month's SBM is forgettable.It confirms that AMD+SLI = BIG fail.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    A better option( without sacrificing GTX 480 SLI) in my opinion is:
    Core i7 950 (add 100$)
    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R (add 50$)
    GSkill 6GB RAM(subtract 70$)
    Reply
  • proofhitter
    Big CPU fail. I love your honesty, good one Tom's! Nice try nevertheless. Keep it up!
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    The lesson here? AMD hexacores are still the best value on the market, but is still unable to keep up with the i7 in overall performance clock for clock. It's sadly not the best choice in high end systems, but it still wont stop me from recomending it to friends interested in sub-$1000 systems.
    Reply
  • sassan_88
    I dont like systems Based on AMD's chipset
    Reply
  • jj463rd
    With Sandybridge and Bulldozer just right around the corner I don't think that it makes any sense to build right now with current (especially CPU + motherboard)components.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    jj463rdWith Sandybridge and Bulldozer just right around the corner I don't think that it makes any sense to build right now with current (especially CPU + motherboard)components.Maybe not...this system was built a couple months ago.
    Reply
  • makwy2
    Love the honesty. I think this is just shows that a MUCH cheaper AMD chip ($700 less) is close but not quite in true competition with the top of the line Intel chip. I'll stick to my AMD chips because I am not made of money.

    Again, I love the honesty and straight talk TH brings with these bi-monthly features that give system builders a real idea about performance and cost-effective parts.
    Reply
  • aaron92
    I really do value the AMD Hex vs Intel, 6 cores is already cutting edge and 12 threads is going beyond a desktop computer for this year atleast.
    Reply