System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $2600 Performance PC

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test Hardware Configurations
 March 2012 $2600 PCDecember 2011 $2400 PC
Intel Core i7-3930K
3.20 GHz, Six Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.38 V
Intel Core i7-2600K
3.40 GHz, Four Physical Cores
O/C to 4.60 GHz, 1.37 V
MSI R7970-2PMD3GD5/OC: 1010 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-5500
O/C to 1100 MHz GDDR5-6000
2 x PNY GeForce GTX 580: 857 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-4212
O/C to 951 MHz GDDR5-4312
16 GB G.Skill DDR3-1600
CAS 9-9-9-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-1866 CL 9-10-9-16
8 GB Corsair DDR3-1600
CAS 8-8-8-24, O/C at 1.60 V
to DDR3-1636 CL 7-8-7-12
Asus P9X79 Pro
LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express
Stock 100 MHz BCLK
MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3)
LGA 1155, Intel Z68 Express
O/C at 102 MHz BCLK
OpticalPioneer BDR-206DBKS 12x BD-RLG WH12LS38 BD-RE: 12x BD-R, 16x DVD±R
CaseAntec P280 Case w/Rosewill FansFractal Design Arc Midi
CPU CoolerZalman CNPS12XPNY XLR8 Integrated Liquid Cooling
Hard DriveMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSDCrucial m4 128 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerSeasonic SS-860XP: 860 W, ATX12V, 80 PLUS PlatinumMushkin Joule MKNPSJL1000: 1000 W, ATX12V v2.31, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 12.2Nvidia GeForce 285.62
ChipsetIntel INF INF
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 1.4.27, 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 IICustom map "Tom's Hardware Guide V2", 60 seconds 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, 2 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
    Thomas: Y U NO USE 2 GPU?

    But srsly, I don't get this set up... Why not scrap the expensive (and kinda pointless for gaming) 3930k, and spend the extra cash on a dual GPU set up?
  • LePhuronn
    SteveymooWhy not scrap the expensive (and kinda pointless for gaming) 3930k, and spend the extra cash on a dual GPU set up?

    Because, as clearly stated in the introduction, this isn't a gaming rig - only 30% of the system's overall score is gaming.