System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $2400 Performance PC

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a4mula

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]I'd address the rest of your post but you've already proven yourself incapable of making an accurate statement. Tom's Hardware uses AMD graphics far more often in its SBM machines. Now go on to Tomorrows build and let's see if you claim a love affair with AMD...[/citation]
Why do you always take things so personally? Every article you write you defend as if only your viewpoint counts. You write great articles, that doesn't mean people are always going to agree with your choices many of which are subjective to begin with. I get it, the theme of the build was overclocking and you wanted cards that fitted within that framework. At the end of the day you accomplished what you set out to do and you built a pc that not many people would mind owning.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]a4mula[/nom]Why do you always take things so personally?[/citation]Because you accused a site that (by counting builds) appears to have an "obvious AMD bias" of having an obvious Nvidia bias?
 

mattmock

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]They're on the PCMark benchmark page. Tom's Hardware uses those four application-based results to calculate the storage score.[/citation]

Now I see them. Thanks.
 

clonazepam

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Great rig. I like the calls for RTS games, but finding a popular one, one that supports sli/crossfire, etc, I wouldnt want to bother. They do apparently chew up cpu's, so from that aspect, it might be worth the effort, but definitely not essential.

For recommendations on a gpgpu something or other, i have no clue. I've been hoping to see one or more get used so I'd at least hear about them hah.

To AMD tri-crossfire, I just dont like the gamble of many games releasing, then waiting for driver fixes. I feel confident nvidia has something usable right out the gate every time.

Have an unpacked arc midi sitting in the corner... cant wait to use but cant decide what to buy/what to wait for, to put in it. Honestly, it'll probably sit there another 2-3 months.
 

Tijok

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If you're taking for suggestions for professional software, the most demanding I can think of that a huge range of engineers and scientists use is Matlab. A program running a combination of difficult calculations (FFTs, best-fits, etc.) should give a sample cross section of what many professionals use it for.

I might also suggest Solidworks or AutoCAD, but I've rarely seen that slow up significantly on any modern processors, so I doubt it is demanding enough on a regular basis. I've had Matlab codes take hours though!

Just my $0.02.
 

klorry56

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Do you get an email confirmation when signing up? Thanks to the wonderful proxy at my job site, the website timed out when I hit submit. Don't want to submit more than one (since both submissions would be deleted and defeat the purpose) but I don't not want to sign up if the proxy ended up not sending my submission.
 

a4mula

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Because you accused a site that (by counting builds) appears to have an "obvious AMD bias" of having an obvious Nvidia bias?[/citation]
What did you say earlier? Inability to make accurate statements. I'm sure you miss the double standard here because self-reflection obviously isn't a strong suit. Never once did I accuse this site of being bias in any regard. My statement of "The love affair with nNvidia continues" wasn't aimed at this site, or even you personally, just this particular article. If you'd like to argue that your choice was the best choice based on value or performance fine, but otherwise you're just doing a poor job at defending the same arrogance that you show every single time anyone disagrees with you.
 
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Interesting VCGGTX580XPB-LC-CPU cpu/gpu cooler... went to take a look and it's already a deactivated product at egg.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]a4mula[/nom]If you'd like to argue that your choice was the best choice based on value or performance fine, but otherwise you're just doing a poor job at defending the same arrogance that you show every single time anyone disagrees with you.[/citation]The problem is that you appear to define "being right" as arrogance. I've already stated for example that 3930k and 3-way 6950 might be a better choice, I just sent that response to people who didn't start off with a statement of bias :)
 

blacksci

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Hey can you folks @ Toms take this and say a xfire 6970 rig and give a honest to goodness 2 D Surround vs Eyefinity comparison ? I have not been able to find any articles with good comparisons- let alone a idea of average frame rates and such. And since you already have one sli rig laying around right now.....
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]BLACKSCI[/nom]Hey can you folks @ Toms take this and say a xfire 6970 rig and give a honest to goodness 2 D Surround vs Eyefinity comparison ? I have not been able to find any articles with good comparisons- let alone a idea of average frame rates and such. And since you already have one sli rig laying around right now.....[/citation]Few editors have a matched monitor set. It's something staff at this level has been unable to solve for around 2 years. An email campaign might get the ball rolling...(looks over shoulder for Chris...)
 

c0ldfusion

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good article.. I have a very similar setup except my 580s are air cooled and I have a 850w psu. I have to question the relevance of liquid cooled cards even at a 2560 x 1600 resolution. I have a HPZR30W monitor at that resolution and am not aware of any 2560 x 1600 30 inch monitors (or bigger) that have a greater than 60hz refresh rate. Are you getting any extra benefit from 86fps to 100fps on these monitors? I get screen tearing above 60. I have no problem maxing out bf3, witcher 2 and arkham city at ultra at this resolution (60fps)
 

branflaks8

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"Anyone who questions the money spent on added storage is probably missing the point that this is not a pure gaming system, but instead a general performance machine that plays games well."

I'm not sure how a machine could have 2x 580's and not be classified a "pure gaming system."
 

ammaross

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]We try to add professional apps that at least a few thousand of our readers have access to, but I'll ping Chris for more. Basically we try to spend our money boosting our own apps and adding a few more is probably justified. Suggestions?[/citation]

Tossing in a Blender or Maya benchmark would have been nice. Blender, at least, is free. Although, if a "professional" was going to use a rig for 3DSMax or the like, they would likely have opted for FireGL/Quadro cards rather than gaming-class hardware. It is hard to build a rig and pin it as a "professional-use" machine as each profession would alter it to be better geared for purpose: calc grunts would push a dual-CPU Xeon-based system with crud graphics (unless leveraging Cuda), whereas Maya render addicts would likely have stuck on the old X-series mobos with quad Quadro cards if they could. Horses for courses. Just label the machine has "enthusist-class" and move on with life.
 

RedJaron

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For all reasonable points and purposes, I kinda agree. A professional already building a stacked system primarily for productivity purposes might fork over a couple hundred for better gaming GPUs, I don't see them going $800 over for this kind of SLI.

Impressive build, as always, but I have to echo some of the thoughts here about diminishing returns. Even though the power bill won't jump much ( my guess is this would maybe suck down $30 / year more in electricity than my current system, ) the huge cost on parts still makes this machine unattainable for 90% of the readers. ( Yes, I know, that's kinda the point, but still . . . )

I'm happy to see the price brackets rise a bit. An extra $100 for the budget model still makes it very affordable, but allows it to pack a lot more horsepower, and ditto for extra $200 mid range. I'd be interested to see a slight recategorization for the SBM: $600 for budget, $1000 for mid-range, $1500 for high-end, and $2500 for extreme. I think realistically $1500 is the limit most people can spend on a machine. It won't get you everything, but it allows you a lot of flexibility on cases, mboards, CPUs, and GPUs and gives a whole lot of bang for the buck.

As for benchmarks, I see you already have a 3DS test, what about adding some more Autodesk software, like Maya or Softimage? Or would that take it too far into a dedicated workstation role? What about making a separate, beefier 3DS benchmark?

 

ammaross

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How about we make a call out for a new category: low-power performer. This would be a "green PC" of sorts. 80+ Silver/Gold PSUs of course, but aiming to reduce total wattage, while trying to push high(er) performance than the usual "HTPC" builds. The point would to win out on the efficiency scale. Just how much performance is lost by going for pairing the best performance/watt GPUs of the upper-class rather than the always-top-end cards? Perhaps there are people perfectly happy with 60fps at 1920x1080 ultra rather than 120fps that would rather have a 400watt machine than a 900watt machine. It's sort of at odds vs the goal of the "best in class" for performance, would be a challenge none-the-less.
 

RedJaron

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Oh, I wasn't complaining about the power usage in this build. I was trying to point out that some people exaggerate the added electrical bill expense when running a high performance machine. Going for a "green performance" build will likely drop you in the $1000 - $1500 range, where power consumption difference will be minimal. The price difference in the parts between two machines would likely be more than the power consumption difference over the lives of the systems.
 

iceveiled

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*looks at OC'd CPU idling at 15.1 C*

I still don't know how you guys accomplish this. Do you do your testing in a freezer?

Great article BTW...man those HDD price increases really hit the pocketbook. I bought new hardware about 2 weeks before all that craziness and saved a lot of money by the look of it.
 
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What is with you Intel fan boys? Don't you know that AMD has the bigger stick on the block with the FX-8150 is a faster chip with just as many cores and cost still almost $100 less than any i7 proc. I would use the extra $100 to rewrite this story!!!! Not a bad choice for the MoBo though, always liked MSI hardware. Surprised you all didn't go MSI on the graphics chip set too. I could build a better system hands don with the same budget and come out saving money every where, and still school you on Crysis!!!!
 

quangluu96

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Wow i can't believe how good Crysis's graphic compare to today's. Wow, it's still use for today's benchmark damn, i remember a few years ago, when GTX 200 and HD4000s are new, it struggles even with crazy crossfire or sli, i still get like 35fps on that game o_O
 
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Tom's is having so many Computer giveaways I couldn't remember if I already entered this one. Hopefully I didnt enter twice; but either way its awesome!
 
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