System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

Test System Configuration and Benchmarks

$625 Gaming PC System Test Configuration
Component Base Settings Overclock Setting
CPU Intel Pentium E5200, 2.50 GHz, FSB-800, 2 MB Cache 4.0 GHz (12x 334 MHz), FSB-1336, 1.44V Core
CPU Cooler Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 100% duty cycle
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L, Intel P45, BIOS F10 (11/10/2008) Unchanged
RAM 4.0 GB PNY XLR8 PC2 6400, 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 4-4-4-12 2T at 1.80 V Unchanged
Graphics Sapphire 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512 MB, 625 MHz GPU, 1,986 MHz Memory Data Rate 700 MHz GPU, 2,340 MHz Memory
Hard Drives Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS, 500 GB, 72000 RPM, 32 MB Cache Unchanged
Sound Integrated 8-Channel HD Audio Unchanged
Network Integrated Gigabit Networking Unchanged
Power Antec NeoPower 650 W Unchanged
Optical LITE-ON 20X DVD±R SATA Model iHAS120-04 Unchanged

Software and Drivers
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit, SP1 Unchanged
Graphics Driver AMD Catalyst 8.11 Unchanged
Onboard Device Drivers Intel Unchanged

3D Game Benchmarks and Settings
Crysis Version : 1.2.1, Video Quality : Very High Details, Demo : CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Supreme Commander
Forged Alliance
Version : 1.5.3599, Video Quality : Highest Settings, Demo : WallaceTX_006_006, Benchmark : Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Unreal Tournament 3 Version : 1.2, Sound and DirectX10, Texture Details : 5, Level Details : 5, Demo : vCTF-Reflection_bot, Time : 12/60
World in Conflict Version :, Video Quality : Very High details, Demo : Game-Benchmark

Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunes Version :, Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min, Default format AAC
Lame MP3 Version : 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD ""Terminator II SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160kb/s

Video Benchmarks and Settings
TMPEG 4.5 Version :, Import File : Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution : 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.3 Encoding mode : Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.1.3 Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1
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 kbp/s), Mode : PAL (25 FPS), Profile : Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core

Application Benchmarks and Settings
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9 Version : 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3 Version : 10.0x20070321, Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-Photo, Benchmark : Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4, Filters : Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e, Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8 Version : 8.0.134, Virus base : 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark : Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
Winrar 3.80 Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression = Best, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark : THG-Workload (334 MB)
Winzip 11 Version 11.2, Compression = Best, Benchmark : THG-Workload (139 MB)

Sythetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark Vantage Version : 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark Vantage Version : 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2 Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • Anonymous
    I'm sorry am I reading the US version? Get some GBP on the go
  • Solitaire
    Even if they did it'd be pointless; $625 is ~£400 or €480. And there is no way in hell you're going to get that spec machine for either of those amounts; rough guesstimate for that spec in Ireland is €630 - WELL over the $800 mark. And that's using really cheap e-tailers (sans eGay) and not counting the various shipping costs, which should bring the whole thing nicely past $850 and up toward $900 if you have a bad day with stock levels and specials. I doubt its THAT much better over there in Blighty.

    Summary: A pointless article - it just doesn't apply this side of the Pond.

    ... But I am interested by the E5200 remarks. It rather hilariously makes a certain recent overclocking article here on Toms look just a little bit ridiculous (an article which claims to OC an E7300 to 4GHz and fails, OCing it to 3.8GHz while claiming the E5200 is a poor part) How far is the E5200 OCd here? 4GHz stable, 4.3GHz possible...

    However, I noticed the bit about the FSB issues. Funny coincidence, I had issues a while back too, and while a BIOS update allowed me to push it higher the mobo was nowhere near 400MHz and used a lot of juice to keep it stable. Many others seem to have difficulty getting the E5200 stable when the FSB pushes past 400MHz as well, even on FSB1600-rated boards. Hmm...
  • bobwya
    anonymous6I'm sorry am I reading the US version? Get some GBP on the go

    "$ = £" mate...

    Ah I look at those prices and dream (of cheap computers)... :crazy: