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

Benchmark And System Configurations

Test Hardware Configurations
 Q4 2012 $2,000 PCQ3 2012 $2,000 PC
Intel Core i7-3770K
3.50 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.40 GHz, 1.26 V
Intel Core i7-3930K
3.20 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.32 V
2 x MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC: 1010 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5500
O/C to 1125 MHz GDDR5-6300
EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR: 980 MHz GPU, GDDR5-6008
O/C to 1301 MHz GDDR5-7048
8 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600
CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-2133 CL 10-11-10-24
16 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600
CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-2133 CL 10-11-10-24
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H: LGA 1155, Intel Z77 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
ASRock X79 Extreme4: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
OpticalAsus BW-12B1ST 16x BD-RAsus BW-12B1ST 16x BD-R
CaseCooler Master Storm EnforcerNZXT Phantom 410
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper 212 EvoScythe Mugen 3 Rev. B SCMG-3100
Hard DriveMushkin Chronos Deluxe DX 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDMushkin Chronos Deluxe DX 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerCorsair HX750: 750 W, ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS GoldSeasonic SS-850HT: 850 W, ATX12V, 80 PLUS Silver 
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsCatalyst 12.10
Nvidia GeForce 301.42
ChipsetIntel INF INF

Our System Builder Marathon is moving to a new set of benchmarks, but I decided to give the old suite one last shot to simplify the comparison between this build and its predecessor. The current build’s data for new benchmarks will appear in our Day 4 value comparison.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Defaults (4x AA, 16x AF)
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25 Seconds Fraps
Test Set 1: DX11, High Details No AA, 8x AF, FXAA enabled
Test Set 2: DX11, Ultra Details, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA enabled
StarCraft IIV1.5.1, "Tom's Hardware Guide V2" custom map, 60s Fraps
Test Set 1: High Details, High Quality
Test Set 2: Ultra Details, Extreme Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (650 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.1: THG-Workload (650 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (650 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version:, Benchmark Only
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version 2011.10.17.80, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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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?