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System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

$625 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
ComponentBase SettingsOverclock Setting
CPUIntel Pentium E5200, 2.50 GHz, FSB-800, 2 MB Cache3.9 GHz (11.5x 339 MHz), FSB-1356, 1.456V Core
CPU CoolerXigmatek HDT-S963Unchanged
MotherboardGigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L, Intel P45, BIOS F10 (11/10/2008)Unchanged
RAM4.0 GB G.Skill HK 6400, 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 4-4-4-12 at 1.80 VDDR2-814 4-4-4-12 1.9 V
GraphicsSapphire 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512 MB, 750 MHz GPU, GDDR5 900 MHz805 MHz GPU, GDDR5 925 MHz
Hard DrivesSamsung SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ, 500 GB, 72,000 RPM, 16 MB CacheUnchanged
SoundIntegrated 8-Channel HD AudioUnchanged
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingUnchanged
PowerPC Power&Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500 WUnchang
OpticalLite-On 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04Unchanged |
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Ultimate 32-bit, SP1Unchanged
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 8.12Unchanged
Onboard Device DriversIntel 9.1.0.1007Unchanged

Benchmarks And Settings

3D Game Benchmarks and Settings
CrysisVersion: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom's Hardware Tool
Supreme Commander Forged AllianceVersion: 1.5.3599, Video Quality: Highest Settings, Demo: WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark: Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Unreal Tournament 3Version: 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details: 5, Level Details: 5, Demo: vCTF-Reflection_bot,Time: 12/60
World in ConflictVersion: 1.0.0.9, Video Quality: Very High details, Demo: Game-Benchmark
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion: 7.7.0.43, Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, wave to MP3, 160kb/s
Video Benchmarks and Settings
TMPEG 4.5Version: 4.5.1.254, Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.3Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced multi-threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.1.3Display encoding status=off
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1 Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbps), Mode: PAL (25 FPS), Profile: Tom's Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
Application Benchmarks and Settings
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3Version: 10.0x20070321, Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-Photo, Benchmar: Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4, Filters: Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e, Accented Edges,  Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version: 8.0.134, Virus base: 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
Winrar 3.80Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression=Best, Dictionary=4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Winzip 11Version 11.2, Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark
  • xx12amanxx
    Yeah Games are definatly more GPU bound than CPU bound at this time.But what about the user who decodes? Next month might be a good time to intro the new am3 triple core seeing as its being sodl for around 150$ and has been seen Oced up to 1ghz over stock.
    Reply
  • As I read this review I wonder, why this is only server I know that provides such a throughout testing and evaluation of OC benefit...
    *THUMBS UP*
    Reply
  • nerrawg
    Nice article guys, like how you seem squeeze the value out of the builds, definitely a good choice of build! My only question is one of personal interest, I wonder if disregarding the set price of $625, a crossfire set up of 2 4830s would give more bang for the buck in gaming then 1 4870? Of course as you have shown it would depend on the cpu, I was thinking around 4 Ghz on a dual core and 4 gigs ram. I am wondering because 2 x 4830 can be had for as little as $170-180 now, and thats pretty awesome.
    Reply
  • nerrawg
    Looking at the "Radeon HD 4830: High-Speed, Cheap CrossFire" article the results look fairly similar to that seen from this build, with maybe some very small gains in Supreme commander and crysis, while World in Conflict appears to due better on this newer january build. However the 4830 CF was on a test bed without an OC'ed cpu and without overclocking the 4830's, hence my curiosity to know if doing this would significantly increase performance and value over the single 4870?
    Reply
  • StupidRabbit
    great article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?
    Reply
  • jv_acabal
    $43 difference bang for the buck. How about in the long run? Sure you'll be paying more than 43 bucks for the electricity bill. I think January's build is better. It might be slower than this month's build but is still very playable at most games.
    Reply
  • maxwellsmart_80
    Why do you keep building the same system (practically) over and over again?

    It would have been awesome to see a system based on the Phenom II X3 "700 Series" at this price point....especially paired w/ the ATI 4830 or 4850. Dont'cha think a 4870 is a tad much for a "$625 system?" - you would have had a "Dragon Platform" - very doable at your price range. You wouldn't have had to do DDR3 either - DDR2 would have worked quite nicely.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    StupidRabbitgreat article as always.. but what happened to the international builder marathon?
    International competition is in edits--almost ready to go live! Interesting results there, too.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Excellent article. I think this was a good build.
    That Rosewill case (and all their cheap ones like it) will take a front mounted 120mm fan. You had $6 left over, so it would have fit in your budget.
    Reply
  • jcknouse
    THG Staff note:Here are links to each of the four articles in this month’s System Builder Marathon...
    I hate being picky...but...

    The links aren't imbedded in those 4 article designations at the top of the article, as of the writing of this note.
    Reply