System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $2,000 Performance PC

Benchmark Results: Productivity

Just when we thought this quarter's Core i7-3770K might not get embarrassed too badly in our well-threaded benchmarks, Photoshop and 3ds Max remind us why we like to experiment with processors built on Intel's Sandy Bridge-E architecture.

Adobe's app appears to benefit most from the added cores, while 3ds Max is a little more rewarding of Ivy Bridge's IPC throughput improvements (though not enough to let it overtake the Core i7-3930K's raw compute muscle).

None of our file compression software appears capable of using more than the Core i7-3770K's four cores. Clock rate reigns supreme, with last quarter's higher overclock leading the way.

Now, bear in mind that we purposely try to maintain a common benchmark suite through the System Builder Marathon in order to facilitate comparisons from one month to the next. This quarter, we updated that suite to include newer versions of all of these tests, which better-utilize available resources. You'll see those results in our Day 4 comparison. For now, though, old software versions help explain why the Core i7-3930K isn't being used to its full potential.

The ABBYY FineReader results are a little harder to figure out, appearing to favor extra cores only part of the time. The Q3 system’s non-overclocked performance might have been worsened by its use of Intel's RSTe storage driver, and a higher score at that setting would have eliminated our head-scratching.

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  • Steveymoo
    I was getting ready to whine about power consumption with those AMD cards, but it looks like they're not so bad! I'd be interested to know how loud/whiny this system gets, and how it would perform with 2 gtx 680s instead.

    Also, I find it weird that those crossfire GPUs fall flat on their face at 2560 resolution in some games. Is there some kind of crossfire/gpu memory issue going on there?