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Test Settings

System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2009: $2,500 Performance PC
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The following is a summary of standard and overclocked hardware configurations used in today’s benchmarks.

$2,500 Performance PC Test Settings
 Standard SpeedOverclocked
MotherboardGigabyte P55-UD4P LGA 1156
Chipset: Intel P55-Express
 Unchanged 
ProcessorIntel Core i7-860 2.80 GHz
Four Cores, 8.0MB L3 Cache
 3.65 GHz at 1.312V,
203 MHz Base Clock 
Memory2 x Crucial 4.0GB DDR3-1333 Kit
4 x 2.0GB (8.0GB Total), CAS 9-9-9-28
 DDR3-1624 at 1.64V,
CAS 8-8-8-18 
Graphics2 x Diamond HD 5870 (CrossFireX)
1.0GB GDDR5-4800 Per Card
Radeon HD 5870 GPU at 850 MHz
 GDDR5-5080
900 MHz GPU
 
Hard Drives2 x WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS (RAID 1)
2.0TB, 7,200 RPM, 64MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s
 Unchanged 
OpticalLG WH08LS20 BD-RE
8x BD-R, 2x BD-RE, 16x DVD±R
 Unchanged 
CaseLian-Li LanCool PC-K7B Unchanged 
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX Modular 850W
ATX12V 2.2, EPS12V 2.91, 80-Plus Silver
 Unchanged 
CPU CoolerXigmatek HDT-S1284EE (120mm Fan)
plus Crossbow ACK-15363 Bracket Kit
 Unchanged 


And now for the benchmarks:

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, No AA
Fallout 3Patch 1.7, Saved Game "Capital Wasteland" (60 sec)
Test Set 1: Highest Details, No AA, No AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 4x AA, 15x AF
Far Cry 2Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: Very High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.XPatch 1.02, DirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo
Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: 8.2.1.6 (x64)
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98.2, wave to MP3
Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min
wave to MP3
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292
Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1
Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 Extended, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2009Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.1, WinZip Command Line Version 3.0
Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP4aVersion 2009.9.15.130, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • 0 Hide
    ionut19 , 23 December 2009 01:25
    ...!
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , 23 December 2009 08:23
    ionut19...!


    Hello ionut19! You probably just did the same thing as me and, like me, got redirected to the .uk site where the comments section is currently empty?
  • 1 Hide
    LePhuronn , 23 December 2009 19:26
    Something strikes me as a little weird on that system. Don't know what it is. Dunno, for a budget of $2,500 I would've thought you could've gotten a bit more.

    GPB equivalent from Overclockers UK: £1,709.85

    Matching budget I did a X58 version for £1,703.87:
    i7 920
    Asus P6T SE
    6GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz CAS8
    2x Sapphire 5870
    2x SpinPoint F3 1TB
    Cogage True Spirit
    Corsair HX850
    LG BH08LS20 BD-RE
    Antec 902

    which is pretty much the same system to be honest. £75 exchanged the SpinPoint RAID for 1 SpinPoint F3 and a Samsung PB22-J 64GB SSD. Dropping the Blu-Ray burner to the equivalent LG Blu-Ray ROM would bring the system back under budget.

    Maybe it's because just because I personally favour X58 over P55.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , 23 December 2009 19:53
    LePhuronnSomething strikes me as a little weird on that system. Don't know what it is. Dunno, for a budget of $2,500 I would've thought you could've gotten a bit more.GPB equivalent from Overclockers UK: £1,709.85Matching budget I did a X58 version for £1,703.87:i7 920Asus P6T SE6GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz CAS82x Sapphire 58702x SpinPoint F3 1TBCogage True SpiritCorsair HX850LG BH08LS20 BD-REAntec 902which is pretty much the same system to be honest. £75 exchanged the SpinPoint RAID for 1 SpinPoint F3 and a Samsung PB22-J 64GB SSD. Dropping the Blu-Ray burner to the equivalent LG Blu-Ray ROM would bring the system back under budget.Maybe it's because just because I personally favour X58 over P55.


    So did the builder, but the P55 was used anyway in hopes of a better overclock on the newer CPU. That didn't work out. But anyway...the RAM was good RAM, for a good price, and it ran at over 1600 CAS 8 anyway. Now if that same cost-savings eye would have been put into a few other places, perhaps X58 and a big enough liquid cooler to chase that big overclock could have been purchased.
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 23 December 2009 20:02
    Crashmanbig enough liquid cooler to chase that big overclock could have been purchased.


    That Cogage will easily cool the i7 920 up to 4GHz on its own, past that you'd need a good chip to exceed 4.2GHz anyway. And a better motherboard too perhaps.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , 23 December 2009 20:10
    LePhuronnThat Cogage will easily cool the i7 920 up to 4GHz on its own, past that you'd need a good chip to exceed 4.2GHz anyway. And a better motherboard too perhaps.


    Well, the i7-860 in the review would go to around 4.4 GHz on a huge air cooler with super-fast fans, but those weren't included in the purchase and were only used in diagnosing the O/C problems. You can get a 920 to 4.20 on a 2x120mm radiator.
  • 0 Hide
    sghndubh , 27 December 2009 09:29
    So I read the "uncompromising compromise" conclusion page ( http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/build-new-pc,review-31758-16.html# ) and it seems like a lot of the build changes.

    Using the original build as a basis, and the improvements that were suggested on the compromises page, what should I fit? If I bumped my budget up to $2750, would that help?

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  • 0 Hide
    daglesj , 28 December 2009 00:38
    This should be called the "more money than sense" system.
  • 1 Hide
    LePhuronn , 28 December 2009 01:42
    daglesjThis should be called the "more money than sense" system.


    Hardly. This is about standard for a high-end gaming system.

    More money than sense would have 3 5870s, Core i7 975 OC'ed to 4.2GHz, 12GB Corsair Dominator GT 2000MHz, 3 Intel 64GB Extreme SSDs in RAID 0 for system and water cool the lot.