System Builder Marathon: Performance and Value

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slomo4sho

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Looking forward to the side by side Intel vs AMD build-offs for the $500 bracket(hopefully you start doing this)

Also, in future write ups, can you please provide power consumption charts?
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]Slomo4shO[/nom]Looking forward to the side by side Intel vs AMD build-offs for the $500 bracket(hopefully you start doing this)Also, in future write ups, can you please provide power consumption charts?[/citation]

Slo,
I'll toss the idea around with our authors. Don't see it being a problem--just have to get everyone outfit with the same equipment and methodology. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

zodiacfml

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based on these systems, a person should have an idea to build his 750 or $1000 dollar machines.
i like most the $500 machine,the best value,simplicity and efficiency,
only upgrading it to a quad core because i encode HD videos to H264 while surfing the net or watching a video.
only games crysis and supreme c. required more than 3Ghz so a quad is not a big loss to duals in gaming.
 

dangerous_23

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id very much like to see the benchmarks from a machine costing somewhere between the $500 and $1500 builds
i bet it would hit the sweet spot!
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]boostercorp[/nom]hi tom's could you tell me where you got the[/citation]

You missed it! That was our limited-time $500 super-computer build. ;-)
 

dirtmountain

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I really enjoy these System Builder Marathons, yeah i'd pick some different components and price brackets, but great stuff anyways. Going with Newegg as a sponsor is a great idea and i sure hope you continue it in the future for other SBM articles. Having a quality retailer like Newegg supply easily available components should really cut down on the logistics of doing these builds and hopefully they can come a bit more often. I'd like to see other SBM brackets e.g. $600 AMD vs. Intel build. Budget quad core builds - AMD 9950 vs. Q6600. Bracket $750 $1,500 $3,000 builds. How about a reader suggested build? Post a bracket, have folks post suggested builds and pick one or a combination of ideas and have your guys put one together. Any way, great job by the staff, good information, brilliant sponsorship by Newegg and a hell of a lot of fun to read, good job.
 

neiroatopelcc

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I'd suggest you upgrade your next $500 build to $650! or lower the $1500 to $1100 or so.
According to a newsletter I received 4 days ago from one of the leading danish retailers, A basic pc costs $350, a basic gaming pc costs $600, and a 'good' (in their terms) gaming system costs $1000 - they're not selling any base pc with better graphics than an 4850, but it still means that they consider the $1000 to be the mainstream, and $600 to be lowend. Ofcourse the actual component price will be lower, but it's not going to be 25% lower.
 

luciiacob

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Nice! Congrats on these four articles!

I read all four of them and I must say I've learned a lot. Although the builds were clearly game-orientated the benchmarks covered a wide range of classical applications used today by most of us, besides games. The synthetic benchmark though don't really help much and, personally, I'd prefer if they would've been replaced with power consumption charts.

Also, in future System Build Marathons, why not build 2 systems in the mid-range price (1200$-1500$), one of which would be game-orientated (dual-core processor+high end graphics card) and the other application-orientated (> 4 GHz overclocked new quad-core processor+mid range graphics card) ? I'm not suggesting to do the same thing for more than one price range because the work would be collosal.

Keep up the good work!
 

neiroatopelcc

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[citation][nom]luciiacob[/nom]Nice! Congrats on these four articles!I read all four of them and I must say I've learned a lot. Although the builds were clearly game-orientated the benchmarks covered a wide range of classical applications used today by most of us, besides games. The synthetic benchmark though don't really help much and, personally, I'd prefer if they would've been replaced with power consumption charts.Also, in future System Build Marathons, why not build 2 systems in the mid-range price (1200$-1500$), one of which would be game-orientated (dual-core processor+high end graphics card) and the other application-orientated (> 4 GHz overclocked new quad-core processor+mid range graphics card) ? I'm not suggesting to do the same thing for more than one price range because the work would be collosal.Keep up the good work! [/citation]
Adding power consumption fine - relevant for some people. But don't cut the synthetics ! They may not be relevant for building a pc, but they are relevant for seeing how the old rig at home stacks up. So you know if your 1½ year old $800 rig is still adequate, or if you should build a new $500 rig.
 

tomasf

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I´d like to see some other game benchmarks besides crysis. lets face it, not every one likes that game an there are some newer games that don´t need that kind of power. some racing games wold be nice.

BTW. great systems. the $500 its awesome
 

luciiacob

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[citation][nom]neiroatopelcc[/nom][/citation]
True! Synthetics do help when it comes to that comparison. I didn't think of it. Sorry.

On the other hand, I honestly believe that no 800$ 1½ years old rig can stand up to a today's 500$ rig (so...no need for a synthetic benchmark when it comes to this decision :) ). That's because prices drop at half after 1 year and today's overclocking capabilities are way better that 2 years go. Also, bear in mind that applications and games also need newer technologies to be supported by the hardware, not just higher frequencies and capacities.

Also, are you really going to spend 500$ on a new rig if you've spent 800$ 1½ years ago? Since my first Pentium 1 PC, about 10 years ago, I've always doubled the amount of money that I spend on a new PC every two or three years.
 

neiroatopelcc

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[citation][nom]luciiacob[/nom]True! Synthetics do help when it comes to that comparison. I didn't think of it. Sorry.

On the other hand, I honestly believe that no 800$ 1½ years old rig can stand up to a today's 500$ rig (so...no need for a synthetic benchmark when it comes to this decision ). That's because prices drop at half after 1 year and today's overclocking capabilities are way better that 2 years go. Also, bear in mind that applications and games also need newer technologies to be supported by the hardware, not just higher frequencies and capacities.

Also, are you really going to spend 500$ on a new rig if you've spent 800$ 1½ years ago? Since my first Pentium 1 PC, about 10 years ago, I've always doubled the amount of money that I spend on a new PC every two or three years.[/citation]
Just under years ago I built an intel system for a friend. It had a ga-965p-ds4 board and an e6400 cpu. That cpu still today runs at 3,4ghz - that's more than the e2180 used here. More cache on the new models doesn't make that much of a difference really, so the old $800 mashine would stand up, if just the graphics would be upgraded. Now his mashine sported an all new 8800gtx back then, but we could've gone with a 7950 back then and compared that to the 8800gt now. Anyhow, my $800 was more of a theoretical number than a real one. Just meant to say that synthetics are key for comparison between their build and ours.

As for your upgrade strategy - sounds sensible, but I've only started from scratch twice in my life. When going from my p200 to an athlon 1000 back in 2001 or so, and when I changed from my athlon 2100 to a northwood 2.8 - and I only started over because poor inhouse electrics had broken pretty much all hardware in the old one.
 

sublifer

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You left out the stock scores in the charts :( That was a valuable piece as a lot of people like to see what they can get for their money by overclocking and seeing if it makes it to that next tier. e.g.
($1500pc overclocked) = ($4500pc stock)

Is there anyway you can add it to your charts there?

Thanks!
 

Pei-chen

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[citation][nom]neiroatopelcc[/nom]Just under years ago I built an intel system for a friend. It had a ga-965p-ds4 board and an e6400 cpu. That cpu still today runs at 3,4ghz - that's more than the e2180 used here. More cache on the new models doesn't make that much of a difference really, so the old $800 mashine would stand up, if just the graphics would be upgraded. Now his mashine sported an all new 8800gtx back then, but we could've gone with a 7950 back then and compared that to the 8800gt now. Anyhow, my $800 was more of a theoretical number than a real one. Just meant to say that synthetics are key for comparison between their build and ours.

As for your upgrade strategy - sounds sensible, but I've only started from scratch twice in my life. When going from my p200 to an athlon 1000 back in 2001 or so, and when I changed from my athlon 2100 to a northwood 2.8 - and I only started over because poor inhouse electrics had broken pretty much all hardware in the old one.[/citation]
Wow, freaky. I built my current system in Q1 2007 with an E6400, P965, 7950GT and overclock to 3.4GHz @ 1.45v but step back to 2.56GHz @ 1.1v. Two weeks ago I replaced the 7950 with a 9800GT (8800GT refresh) and gaming performance more than doubled.

And yes, you’re right. My $1000 system still beats the value build.
 

neiroatopelcc

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[citation][nom]Slomo4shO[/nom]Another topic for a article: Eco-friendly system. I want to see how low powered a system can be without loosing much performance. [/citation]
That doesn't exist I think! if you buy a low power system, it means it'll be too slow faster than another system, and you'll replace components faster, thus spending more time on recycling parts than the electricity company on providing you with more power.
The request is valid if you disregard enviroment and only look at power consumption/maintainance costs though.
 

neiroatopelcc

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@ pei-chen : we didn't actually go with the 7950 though - he had an 7800gtx in his old system, so in order for him to feel a proper difference we went with the biggest gun we could. And got our stuff from newegg as it happends - and then shipped to denmark before the parts were available here :)

Anyway - your rig probably could've handled a 4870 just fine - why compromise?

 

caamsa

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A look back at the gaming benchmarks would reveal that only the $4,500 PC is adequate for playing demanding 3D games like Crysis at high-quality settings and medium or higher resolutions.
I agree with your assessment but the fact that Crysis sucks IMO makes me always go with a budget system. If a great game comes out that deserves a $4,500 PC, which I doubt.....then maybe but otherwise stick with a budget system.
 

neiroatopelcc

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Crysis is the yardstick for graphics and physics enabled games. Wether the game itself is good (I like it, and paid for it) is irrelevant to the benchmarks. There aren't any games worth paying a 4500 bucks rig to play, but if you like gaming in general, it may be sensible to have a computer that can actually play the games the way the developers expect them to be played. A budget system just can't if you prefer games that aren't 3 years old. If you only play cs or age of empires 2, then sure a budget system is the best choice for you, but for anything new a budget system is only good enough for those willing to compromise.
 
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