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

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lamsid

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[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]

I'd be interested in something like this too, or even just some benchmarks geared towards either Eyefinity or nVidia surround by themselves in the builds. I'm actually looking at this guide with the intention of building an nVidia surround setup. I'm eyeballing the gaming benchmarks here and trying to imagine how this kind of setup (or last quarter's setup) would perform with 5760 x 1080p across 3 monitors.
 

mattmock

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I really disagree with the people who say one 580 is more than enough. If a person wants to play at 1080p with 4xMSAA and 16 AF on High settings and get a solid 60 fps min (not avg) in games like Metro 2033, Witcher 2, Crysis, etc then they need SLI/xfire. Two cards aren't necessary to play these games when the settings are turned down, but maxing out the graphics is a nice luxury. Metro 2033 really makes good use of advanced lighting. (I did turn of DOF though as it killed performance and IMO reduced image quality.)
 

cmcghee358

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I still wish we could see some multimonitor resolutions for gaming.

Maybe it's just my small view of the gaming world, but I'd guess multimonitor accounts for a larger gaming population than 2560x1600.

Yes I am biased.

5970+5870 BF3 @ 5760x1080 FTW!
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]branflaks8[/nom]I'm not sure how a machine could have 2x 580's and not be classified a "pure gaming system."[/citation]How can a car can have a trunk and not be classified as a delivery vehicle? How can a delivery van can have a passenger seat and not be called a passenger vehicle?[citation][nom]RedJaron[/nom]FAs 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?[/citation]I'll keep presenting these suggestions to Chris.

Basically a lot of "big spenders" just want to be able to "do everything" from one machine rather than have several specialized machines that do only a few things better. I remember college students spending over a grand to upgrade their internal components, for example, and some of those guys are still using the same types of applications in their hobbies.[citation][nom]RejectedAng3l[/nom]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 could build a better system hands don with the same budget and come out saving money every where, and still school you on Crysis!!!![/citation]Well, if you could build a better system "hands don" using an FX CPU, let's hand it to Don in a few hours and see if that's what he does!
 

clonazepam

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[citation][nom]cmcghee358[/nom]I still wish we could see some multimonitor resolutions for gaming.Maybe it's just my small view of the gaming world, but I'd guess multimonitor accounts for a larger gaming population than 2560x1600.Yes I am biased.5970+5870 BF3 @ 5760x1080 FTW![/citation]

idk, i jus look at the gap between 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 in performance, and assume the same gap between 2560x1600 and 5760x1080... its gotta be *close enough*...

Though benchmarks at 5760x1080 would tell us if it even works well for a given title. Does the driver require there be 3 identical monitors in order to function for testing?

[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]How can a car can have a trunk and not be classified as a delivery vehicle? How can a delivery van can have a passenger seat and not be called a passenger vehicle?[/citation]

lol... thats not a pro or against lol, just an lol...
 

brucek2

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I think it's great that Tom's does these builds at 3 different price points, including one that is probably past the point of diminishing returns. There is no need to "justify" this by making up additional professional applications. You are performing a valuable service to your readers by helping us see for ourselves what the price/performance curve looks across multiple systems, and, thus armed with that data, you readers can all make their own value choices from there.
 

brucek2

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]Spending this amount of money just to play games is a waste of resources all around[/citation]

As much as there's a factual point here that I agree with (that for many gaming situations, this level of power will provide no visible benefits over a less costly system), the way its stated is offensive and inappropriate.

Is there a specific amount of money that is the "correct" amount to spend on recreational game playing? How did you arrive at this correct amount? Do you also feel you could tell us the correct amounts of money to spend on housing, clothing, education, vehicles, etc.?

I wouldn't have bothered replying, except that this line of thinking threatens what I consider a valuable information source. If Tom's were to only build and test gaming systems that were "appropriately" priced, I'd be out a key source of information I use to actually figure out what is the appropriate price for me.
 

eddieroolz

Splendid
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Well, isn't this kind of an ironic turn of events. Spending $400 more in an attempt to fix a problem which just led to a new type of problem. I think the game test suite isn't realizing the full potential of cards better than a GTX 560/570, especially with a processor bottleneck.

So, I'm rather disappointed at the performance of this rig at stock. OC is respectable, but it's important to keep in mind that OC mileage varies.
 

cmcghee358

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[citation][nom]clonazepam[/nom]idk, i jus look at the gap between 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 in performance, and assume the same gap between 2560x1600 and 5760x1080... its gotta be *close enough*...Though benchmarks at 5760x1080 would tell us if it even works well for a given title. Does the driver require there be 3 identical monitors in order to function for testing?lol... thats not a pro or against lol, just an lol...[/citation]

The jump between 1920x1080 to 2560x1600 doesn't really come close to the jump to 5760x1080. Furthermore that's where you're going to see a distinct separation in specs, especially considering VRAM.

Also, no the monitor manufacturers have nothing to do with Eyefinity. Eyefinity doesn't care, it ports the resolution you ask for.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]brucek2[/nom]I think it's great that Tom's does these builds at 3 different price points, including one that is probably past the point of diminishing returns. There is no need to "justify" this by making up additional professional applications. You are performing a valuable service to your readers by helping us see for ourselves what the price/performance curve looks across multiple systems, and, thus armed with that data, you readers can all make their own value choices from there.[/citation]The point is that if you only have one really good PC, you want it to do everything. Everything covers a lot of things![citation][nom]cmcghee358[/nom]The jump between 1920x1080 to 2560x1600 doesn't really come close to the jump to 5760x1080. Furthermore that's where you're going to see a distinct separation in specs, especially considering VRAM.Also, no the monitor manufacturers have nothing to do with Eyefinity. Eyefinity doesn't care, it ports the resolution you ask for.[/citation]Can't do Eyefinity with Nvidia though, and Nvidia Surround does care.
 
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+1 You can't retire the Crysis benchmark, you are crazy Tom's !!
+1 We need benchmarking with 3D Nvidia drivers and 3D using AMD drivers using 3D monitors
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]Flinstone3647[/nom]+1 You can't retire the Crysis benchmark, you are crazy Tom's !!+1 We need benchmarking with 3D Nvidia drivers and 3D using AMD drivers using 3D monitors[/citation]
Send the nine 3D monitors and I'll get the whole SBM team on 3D Surround / EyeFinity :)
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]JonnyDough[/nom]So you're saying that replacing a Sempron with a 6-core Phenom II is silly...it makes more sense to just OC the Sempron?[/citation]Sure, if you can reach 8GHz you're golden!
 

clonazepam

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[citation][nom]cmcghee358[/nom]The jump between 1920x1080 to 2560x1600 doesn't really come close to the jump to 5760x1080. Furthermore that's where you're going to see a distinct separation in specs, especially considering VRAM.[/citation]

I'll accept that. My armchair mathematics was looking at raw pixel numbers, but idk if i even got that right. ;)
 

cmcghee358

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]The point is that if you only have one really good PC, you want it to do everything. Everything covers a lot of things!Can't do Eyefinity with Nvidia though, and Nvidia Surround does care.[/citation]

Didn't know that, and wow that's dumb of nVidia.


 

clonazepam

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They're probably concerned about the user experience and eliminating variables. They should give testers like Tom's some hotfix so they can slum it thru some benchmarks, hehe
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]clonazepam[/nom]They're probably concerned about the user experience and eliminating variables. They should give testers like Tom's some hotfix so they can slum it thru some benchmarks, hehe[/citation]Really, I think all of us would take a triplet of 3D displays, I'm just waiting for the offer!
 

rubix_1011

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Another build where people get off on the LCS CPU and GPU coolers that don't know how deficient these are compared to the amount of heat in watts being produced and needing to be dissipated. The simple fact that good delta-T is completely thrown out the window for people to have terribly inaccurate 'e-peen' is just plain sad.

For once, build an ultimate gaming/benchmark/Folding rig with a real watercooling solution instead of these lackluster cooling solutions that are sold as much more than they really are.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]rubix_1011[/nom]Another build where people get off on the LCS CPU and GPU coolers that don't know how deficient these are compared to the amount of heat in watts being produced and needing to be dissipated. The simple fact that good delta-T is completely thrown out the window for people to have terribly inaccurate 'e-peen' is just plain sad. For once, build an ultimate gaming/benchmark/Folding rig with a real watercooling solution instead of these lackluster cooling solutions that are sold as much more than they really are.[/citation]Why? If the GPU and CPU temperatures are good enough, they're good enough. Max acceptable would be in the 90's, if you add 50C to 40C you get to 90C but is your office ever going to be 40C? Mine won't.

You're requesting to fix a problem that doesn't exist. It takes a drop of more than 30C to get an extra 100 MHz at the same voltage, and nobody is raising the voltage any higher on these CPUs. Electron migration is a diversion in this instance: You can blow the gates at high voltage regardless of temperature and you'll have to go sub-zero to really alter the characteristics of the silicon to the point where substantially higher voltage levels would be considered safe.
 

gmp23

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Great build, although i'm not a fan of the case. I like the Lian Li cases if you want to keep it classy. Also, i'm just curious as to whether or not that psu is modular. I think the small price premium is worth it when it comes to air flow and keeping things tidy. The two gpu's with the cpu cooler included is something I will keep in mind for my next build. Great job guys.
 
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I wish TH would make the GIVEAWAY INTERNATIONAL. I wouldn't mind paying for the shipping and customs.
 
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