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System Builder Marathon, June 2011: $2000 Performance PC

Value Conclusion

Our new build did not overclock as well as our previous machine, but it did cost slightly less. Could that make it the better overall value?

A 2% performance difference is offset by a 2% price difference in our overclocked configurations, and keen eyes will note that the current build’s 128% bar is two pixels wider than that of the previous build, indicating an advantage of less than 1%.

Gaming accounted for 30% of our overall performance score however, and we don’t think anyone buys these cards to game at low resolutions. Thus, a closer look at our highest test resolution might also prove informative.

Our 2560x1600 gaming value chart provides some vindication from a pure performance standpoint, without even looking into where the new system could have shined: Quick Sync. Though this new technology was not used by any of today’s benchmarks, we’ve been happy enough with it in other venues that we really wanted to include the capability in this machine.

Non-benchmarked improvements, such as room for an extra graphics card, would have easily put the new machine over-the-top, but we think the lower price and classy chassis will be enough to convince many buyers that our new build is their better choice.

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