System Builder Marathon (Overclocking) Day 1

warezme

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Good Article, I look forward to the custom build results. I am not surprised one bit by your findings. I hope these results will be factored into future reviews of factory "OC" builds such as this Dell. It can be misleading to the uninitiated who think they are buying something with huge potential.

I noticed that memory bandwidth was fairly low on this Dell. My OC'ed rig is getting close to around 7,840 which is pretty darn close to 8,000 thats with Corsair 6400C4D at 4-4-4-12, 2.1v 900Mhz. I would have thought those 8400 would do better.
 

yakyb

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im going to reserve judgement until the others come through
although i did like the conclusion that you reached.
 

sojrner

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While I agree that a true enthusiast would opt for something with more headroom (and probably build it themselves), I find it encouraging that Dell is running something so tight to the ceiling of potential. This is of course nothing new for systems from FalconNW or the like, but for conservative Dell that is something.

Good article too, even if nothing really happened yet. ;)
 

warezme

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HA!, I just read where Dell is no longer offering the 3.7Ghz XPS because of the unavailability of Bin+3 processors and will only be offering 3.2Ghz factory overclocks. Had they invested in a high quality multiphase mobo with CPU voltage steppings they could have reached 3.6Ghz default OC and capable of 4.0Ghz as they lead everyone to believe. Instead they walked away with their profits.
 

sojrner

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they cannot "walk away with profits" unless ppl buy their comps. They cannot get sales if they make crap. You say this system is crap and yet they have profit. hmm... ;)

sure, they have the low-end dumpster-systems, but we are talking 6000+ bucks. They are hardly using low-end parts. They just did not enable many settings b/c of their conservative nature. The sheer number of sales they have means a massive support net that would be slammed if they unlocked the voltage for n00bs to tweak with and destroy their system. The peeps that buy dell xps systems are gamers (and others) that just want a good out of box experience on their comp. They do not want to tweak like we do. That is Dell's demographic and they are catering to it.

I am by no means a Dell lover, and find much of what they do to be lacking. I am only saying that this system they built is nice for what it is.
 

Hatman

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Dell didnt cheap out at all some prossessors can only overclock so far.

I think you'll find almost every part in that system of theirs is the top spec one or next to top.


I think that kind of performance can be reached by using overclocked lower parts though, just about.
 

warezme

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They cheaped out on the mobo, its junk. Thats like putting motorcycle wheels on a Ferrari..., lots of power but don't push it to far or you'll loose it. Its marketed for the "enthusiast", just not built for a real one.
 

sojrner

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what model of mobo did they use? what chipset? what specs?


...do you even know?


If you do not know what they have in there beyond an "it just sucks" statement like what you are giving then calm down and have a seat.

Just b/c options are not available in bios does not make it junk, just not configurable. B/c Dell makes their own mobos (using Nvidia and other chipsets) they have the ability to write their own bios for whatever they want enabled regardless of components. They are not the only company to do it either.
 

warezme

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Naw, it sucks, I have one sitting under my desk at work and the problem is that Dell makes their own mobos. The case is huge and the front panels are cheap flimsy plastic and cheap flimsy optical drives. Even the power supply cable is proprietary. So, yea, I know.

 

sojrner

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well then, I apologize for insinuating that you did not have one...

...however, I still only hear "it sucks" w/o anything backing that up. I am ok if you have experience on how badly the mobo horks up on you, I would just like to know what that experience is. "cheap flimsy plastic" cases do not (always) equal a crashing mobo or anything.

I guess I am asking what is wrong with the mobo beyond the obvious locking down of tweak options or proprietary connections?
 

warezme

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Dude, I don't know what it is you want to know?? Think of it this way, what kind of enthusiast computer do you know that has the following options for overclocking..., 1. Do you want to overclock, (yes/no)...warning 2. Set CPU speed....thats it.

No FSB settings for CPU or FSB for Memory or memory timings, or voltage settings for CPU or memory or FSB or anything!! Zilch, zip, nada.

For a computer thats marketed for enthusiast that is in the range of $6,000 to $9,000, man just get a Falcon or whatever else. Thats my point, this is not an enthusiast class computer without a solid motherboard full of real options. Dell needs to either build a real enthusiast class computer or quit pretending they do. The flimsy parts are just turds on the icing of an already flat cake.

If you leave the computer alone and dont touch a thing it runs fine but any Dell, HP or Compaq computer already does that. For that a stripped down mobo is fine but not for the audience it was intended for.
 

rammedstein

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slightly incorrect, a REAL enthusiust would have got our some wire, some solder a bunch fo 50K ohm resistors and a pencil and done VMODS. lol, aside from that, yeah, that kinda sucks that the voltages were locked, i think if you gave the memory more juice it would probably run 5-3-3-5 or less at that speed.
 

nastymat

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With no option to set the voltage it's not an enthusiasts machine. To me Dell have simply squeezed a bit more out of their kit, made out it's a bit special and slapped a huge price tag on it.

They have probably identified a market where costs are higher and therefore a chance for bigger margins.. i.e. the high end machines.

I am sure they will sell a few to people who want the kudos of having an OC'ed machine with out the hassle of OC'ing themselves. But where is the fun in not destroying your new rig?!?! :)
 

americanbrian

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warezme. I believe I have seen that photo elsewhere... correct me if I am wrong but wasn't it on a previous THG article?

Thats not what I wanted to say though. I am writing to speculate as to the performance reductions seen on some of the benchmarks.

I suggest that the core that is under heavy load is overheating which in turn causes the load to be shifted to another core. I think that due to the unfamiliarity that everyone has with multicore cpus this will eventually come out. The reason why O/C's are more stable with multicore cpu's can be partially attributed to the unique ability to move the CPU load to a different core when one of them starts failing. This would allow the failing core to cool enough to continue to function and take back on some other loads. obviously with 4 cores it would just be a matter of monitering the activity on each one during the dodgy benchmarks to see if this is actually happening.

Pure speculation but one that makes some sense to me.
 
Im 100% with warezme on this like the ferrari comparison spot on and as for proof that dell mobos are rubbish well lets see we have 7 of them in my department at work and 2 of them have had 2 new boards in the last year and another 2 have had 1 new board so yea they are rubish on that evidence.
Sojrner its all well and good wanting someone to back up a statement but on the flip side do you have any proof he was wrong if so do as you would do and post it if not as you put it take a chair.
Mactronix
 

cleeve

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I've never heard of multicore load balancing based on overheating.

If this was a feature I'm pretty sure the manufacturers would advertise the hell out of it...
 

dark41

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Well I'm kinda glad this review turned out as it did. Can't say I was surprised at the locked voltages. Just one more reason for people to go with a custom built or self built system than a Dell system. :)
 

Crashman

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Yeh, the Dell got a newer QX6800 stepping that's good for around 3.8GHz, while the Tom's got an older X6800 that's good for around 3.8GHz. And THG didn't even get the X6800 to 3.8GHz, but there's probably still a case cooling issue.

I'd have liked to see the TEC cooler put the X6800 up to around 4GHz.
 

Luscious

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As a final note, Shelton did not overclock the graphics cards. Did he forget, or were they already too close to their limits? Asking such questions would get us nowhere, as there's simply no time left to retest.
You guys cannot be serious. How in the world can you screw up an opportunity to overclock and get high scores WITHOUT pushing the GPU?

Meeting article deadlines is one thing, but if you fail to address an item that is paramount to what your article is focused on, then somebody over there needs a good kick up his rear.
 

Crashman

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Former Staff


Poor Shelton reached the end of his rope spending around 4 days and two nights figuring out the CPU overclocking tricks, submitted the results, and was comatos by the time anyone realized the GPU had been neglected.
 

warezme

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Its my photo taken from my crappy cell phone camera awhile back ago. I can take another one if you are still doubtful? I have used it before in a forum thread again to hush doubting thomases who inisist dell computers are the dawgs bawls. I would hope THG articles would have their own photography at a much higher quality than a cell phone.

To Shelton, who apparently exhausted himself with attempts to OC' the dell rig (4 days!)...., I don't get it, the OC options are so limited on that rig, it should have taken him no more than half a day to realize...., thats it, thats all she's gonna give me and gone to bed.
 

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