System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $2000 Bonus Build

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Great SBM series. What about an AMD quad core vs. an AMD triple core (unlocked 4th core) vs. Core i3 value comparison?
 

compton

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Now this is pretty interesting. I wouldn't have suspected that the memory bandwidth reduction in the alternate build would have been as big of deal as it is. I think both builds are fantastic, but the NF200-equiped Asus board was one I myself was trying to obtain. It has been deactivated on the Egg, and the winner of the original $2000 build will be extra lucky indeed. Hopefully, it's me.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]compton[/nom]Now this is pretty interesting. I wouldn't have suspected that the memory bandwidth reduction in the alternate build would have been as big of deal as it is. I think both builds are fantastic, but the NF200-equiped Asus board was one I myself was trying to obtain. It has been deactivated on the Egg, and the winner of the original $2000 build will be extra lucky indeed. Hopefully, it's me.[/citation]It was deactivated, but has since been reactivated:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131714
Now when you win the second PC, there will be no need for sadness: You can upgrade it with the motherboard from the first!
 
I'd love to see more info on 16x/16x vs 8x/8x. I just looked at the last time you guys reviewed it, but it was only with a GTX480. Being one of many with a P55 8x/8x mobo, I really need to know what my best upgrade path would be... single top end card at 16x? Or CF/SLI again? Is the resolution going to be the deciding factor? Seems like high res sees less of a PCIe bottleneck at 8x, but maybe it's just due to framerates being lower? Need info! lol.
 

Crashman

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Former Staff
[citation][nom]Wolfram23[/nom]I'd love to see more info on 16x/16x vs 8x/8x. I just looked at the last time you guys reviewed it, but it was only with a GTX480.[/citation]Look for something in a week or two. And you're right to NOT bother with the GTX480 stuff, Nvidia cards need less bandwidth than AMD cards.
 

compton

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It was deactivated, but has since been reactivated:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131714
Now when you win the second PC, there will be no need for sadness: You can upgrade it with the motherboard from the first!
This is why the SBM is the best thing going. A few other sites do similar articles, but Tom's is far and away the champion. Another well respected site doesn't even build the systems, but Tom's builds three (or four!) and gives 'em away like sweet delicious candy. Every build has its's own quirks, issues, and performance wins (losses too) that can't always be understood until the gear arrives and goes together. If system building was entirely predictable, no one would build their own. It's just more fun this way.
 

qwertymac93

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antec 300 again... im really not liking that case. you have any experience with the haf 912? it seems like a very nice case.

Anyway, i never understood why intel went with just 16 lanes on SB yet all the mobo makers market their ultra high end cross fire boards. :pt1cable:
Thing I'm wondering is, if intel switched to 24 lanes, could the graphics cards work at 12x each for 2 way, and 8x for 3 way? i know a full 32 lanes is unlikely, that's why I'm asking.
 

sparky2010

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i think i'll wait until the the Z67 is out.. will be interesting to see if quicksync will add anything performance wise.... and while i'm at it, will probably wait to see what AMD have in store with bulldozer.. i mean, i've waited 2 years, i think i can handle a few more months! but it's starting to get AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
yeah..
 

rainwilds

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[citation][nom]Wolfram23[/nom]I'd love to see more info on 16x/16x vs 8x/8x.[/citation]

Over at HardOCP they did a good review on just that. Both bandwidths perform the same for current cards. However they only tested up to 4xAA at 2560x1440. Might be different at higher AA.
 

iam2thecrowe

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Question for the guys at Toms, have you ever noticed "microstuttering" in your recent crossfire builds and reviews? Maybe you should do an article on this and how to overcome it. Maybe a "Crossfire guide" or something showing settings to change and how to get things to work properly. microstuttering, incompatability, instability and poor performance with some games are always reasons people do not choose crossfire. Can the experienced people at Toms shed some light on this subject?
 

mattmock

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"we doubt anyone building with these cards would choose anything less than 2560x1600"
I am running two GTX 570s in SLI at 1080p on a 120hz monitor. Its overkill for most older games, but some newer ones push it a bit. Using this setup gives nice high minimum framerates at max settings+4xAA in games like STALKER:COP complete, metro 2033(sans ADOF) and just cause 2. Keeps things noticeably smoother than one 570.
 
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Thomas S., can you add a "1920x1080 resolution High End gaming Value performance/relative price" graph/illustration at the conclusion page in the future? I understand that these are enthusiast systems and part of the point of benchmarking the higher card 6970 system is to point out the performance increase at higher resolutions, but 2560x1600 monitors can go from $1000/2000+ on Newegg.com. Some people who splurge and build a $2000+ system may not have deep enough pockets to get anything higher than 1920x1080 and it would be great to have the informative percentage graphs for the suggested resolution.
 

krinkles619

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If i won either of the 2000 pc's i would put them in a NZXT Phantom, because hey, if you've got almost 2k worth of parts in it you might as well have a sexy case, amirite?
 
Six of one, a half dozen of the other...with a $2K budget, it is much more difficult to build a "bad" system, than it is with a $500 budget to build a "good" one. The tradeoffs, while having measurable effect, are small and pretty meaningless to the user experience. I am absolutely not implying this was a waste of time; this comparison I hope served as a very good example that will assist others to not waste time.
 

impulse89

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Awesome addition to the set. I would love to win any of these machines.
I would have thought the 70's would have made a bigger difference in lower resolutions, but apparently not. Wish i had a 2560x1600 setup.
 

youssef 2010

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OK, I am not usually provoked into posting a comment after reading only the first page of a TH article.

But IMHO your choice of case is inexplicable as your budget still has $41 left and that allows the choice of a much superior chassis. At least you would avoid the length problem you had with your $2000 PC. Here is alist of possible replacements:

CM HAF 922:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197
Antec 900:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021
Antec 902 V3:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129097
XCLIO Windtunnel:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103011
RaidMax Quantum:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156241
IN WIN Ironclad:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108230
IN WIN Maelstrom:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108190
Antec Dark Fleet DF-30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129085
XCLIO A380PLUS-BK :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103014
Sentey Burton Extreme Division
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811322017
Thermaltake Element G:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133086

After reading the whole article. I wonder where have the Eyefinity numbers gone?
 

Noodletoe

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For future article, in addition to the 16x16 vs 8x8, would be really nice to see 4x4 or 16x4 also used in comparison for those with cheaper p67 boards interested in crossfire, hard to find solid info on this out there for some reason.
 

youssef 2010

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Look for something in a week or two. And you're right to NOT bother with the GTX480 stuff, Nvidia cards need less bandwidth than AMD cards.[/citation]

what?
 
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