System Builder Marathon, March 2012: System Value Compared

Benchmark Results: Productivity

The $2600 PC achieves roughly 50% greater Photoshop performance compared to its $1300 rival. In light of its roughly 100% higher cost, the value proposition there doesn't look particularly inviting.

Don's $1300 build’s value also shines in comparison to the $650 machine, since it serves up nearly two times the performance at less than two times the price.

Unfortunately for Don, his $1300 configuration gets demolished in both performance and value by my $2600 build in 3ds Max, though my expensive machine fails to outperform Paul's $650 configuration by the expected four-to-one ratio that prices would dictate.

File compression is a mixed bag, since 7-Zip responds well to multi-core processors and WinZip doesn’t. WinRAR falls somewhere in the middle, and the dual-core $650 machine’s value shines overall.

After seeing so many staggering losses in office application apps, we begin to wonder if Don's broken motherboard is hammering its overall performance picture. Don't worry, though. We'll get the marginal motherboard replaced before anyone wins the $1300 configuration.

Although it appears slow, the $650 machine still manages more than one-quarter of the flagship build's performance.

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