System Builder Marathon: Price Vs. Perf.

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zipz0p

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And yet it's still smashed in bang/buck.

I like the introduction of the high-resolution gaming bang/buck chart - it's a keeper!
 

sublifer

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Great charts. Still though... not a whole lot of value since we've gotten new video cards out. I know its unreasonable to expect the entire thing to be redone with the new components, but at the same time, many people (yes, me too....) would like to see how the outlook might change with the new graphics cards. Is there any way you could substitute appropriately (by that I mean cost) in a few of the systems and compare them with the sbm results?

Thanks again guys!
 

gwolfman

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What's interesting is that the $2000 build overclocked was able to return slightly above (or slightly below in hi-res gaming) it's value compared to the original build. That means that ever dollar spent is rewarded back with an equal system performance increase. Very interesting.
 

beerzombie

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I think comparing performance/price with overclocked systems when the price of aftermarket cooling solutions are included in the non-overclocked system is a bit misleading. I feel that the reality is that the Sub $4k PC is $256 cheaper when not overclocked, and the sub $2k machine should be $120 cheaper as well as the $1k PC being $26 cheaper. It is just unrealistic to assume someone is watercooling a PC and won't be overclocking it.
 

zipz0p

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Interesting point, BeerZombie. I would like to see the price/performance comparisons again taking that into account!
 

gaiden

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Interesting, according to the Hi-res bang/buck value overclocking a sub$2000 will increase the value by 26% while sub$1000 o.c. will increase by 36% ! This is a very useful stat indeed and i agree with others that it's a keeper for sure. So in conclusion it makes sense that to get the most out of your config vs $ you spend should be anywhere between the $1000-$2000 with o.c. which probably represents majority of the ppl out there. < (pointless, but nice to hear statement) :)
 

Preclude

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The parts are not relevant. What people are missing here is the overall message. They are trying to visually display the aspects of price to performance in the PC market for custom builds. The data will always be relevant no matter what the hardware goes to. There will always be the "best performing budget rig", the "step up medium high end build" and the "Not really worth the money but if you want it you want it" builds. I'm sure some could argue builds between those, but you will always find that builds fall near one of those general areas.

TL;DR Thanks Toms, anyone who actually builds systems on a regular basis can appreciate this data.
 

Kirth Gersen

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What you can take away from this is that you are very much in the realms of the law of diminishing returns with a $4k system from a gaming perspective. 30FPS is plenty, your eyes can't perceive better, so what is the point of a system which can achieve 80FPS? At least a Ferrari might improve the sex life :).

A mid range $2k system has always been my price point. For that you can usually build an overclocked system which hits 30FPS on max graphics.
 

randomizer

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[citation][nom]Kirth Gersen[/nom]30FPS is plenty, your eyes can't perceive better, so what is the point of a system which can achieve 80FPS?[/citation]
Because at 80FPS your reaction time is alot lower than a slow-as-hell 30FPS. It's fine for RTS though.
 

randomizer

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Probably used the wrong terminology. 80FPS is much smoother than 30FPS, you also see more frames (which is why it's smoother :p). Try playing a twitchy game like CS at 30FPS, then play it at 80FPS. It's much easier at 80FPS.
 

gwolfman

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Are you guys talking 30 FPS min or 30FPS average? There's a difference there! And how fast can a LCD monitor refresh anyways before you see strobing?
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]Kirth Gersen[/nom]30FPS is plenty, your eyes can't perceive better... [/citation]

This is incorrect, do some research. Humans can percieve hundredds of FPS.

30 fps is the MINIMUM for smooth animation, not the maximum.

Most LCD monitors max out at about 60 Hz, and 60 FPS is the generally accepted standard for very smooth twitch gameplay...
 

dark41

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[citation][nom]Preclude[/nom]... the "Not really worth the money but if you want it you want it" builds.[/citation]

The term "diminishing returns" is relative to your computer use. If time is money, and I make a lot of money for my time, the more expensive and twice as fast system pays for itself much faster than the slower systems. For gaming the slower systems are adequate. For many other uses the slower systems are the ones that lose in the price/performance once time is translated into profit.

The article does a decent job of showing the difference between various uses. But the price/performance grade doesn't take into account what most people who would buy a top end system will do with it, and the amount of work they can get done as opposed to the slower systems. For me, the top end system is the best bang for the buck every time. I can buy a low end system every month with the money I've saved with the high end system. ;)
 
G

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I noticed that Tom's choice of PC components is affected largely by overclocking possibilities, I intend to build a PC that costs about, not necessarily sub, $1,000, without overclocking or dual graphics cards, and use Core 2 Duo E8400, what is the appropriate other components for such a system??? Any help would be appreciated.
 

ZootyGray

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[citation][nom]gaiden[/nom]Interesting, according to the Hi-res bang/buck value overclocking a sub$2000 will increase the value by 26% while sub$1000 o.c. will increase by 36% ! This is a very useful stat indeed and i agree with others that it's a keeper for sure. So in conclusion it makes sense that to get the most out of your config vs $ you spend should be anywhere between the $1000-$2000 with o.c. which probably represents majority of the ppl out there. < (pointless, but nice to hear statement) [/citation]

Not pointless at all - this (to me) is the reason, or the "call", to build-yer-own rather than buy what the big brands, etc are offering. It's also why we do all our research and scrap with each other in these forums. And all that is a search for the real truth about - omg, what's really going on here. :)

It's a good point, gaiden.
 

ZootyGray

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[citation][nom]royalcrown[/nom]randomizer, you wanna explain for me how 80 fps drops my reaction time, I am missing something I am sure ?[/citation]

In a FPS "twitch" game, by the time you react, and try to fire, your gun doesn't work, cos yer already toast - plus you cam (almost) dodge bullets. Hahaha, and then people call you "cheater".

What I hate about this, is that you can buy your socalled skill. Lots of egos go for this - this is what makes "team killer revenge" so much fun. If FPS games could fix this, it would be fair to all. Hello, ID software.

These egos are the ones that chatchat and stroke each others egos - the wannabe clanboys. grrrr, I love to hate them :)
 

shjacks

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Not to belabor the gaming aspect. But according to the people who pay money to determine reaction times (like insurance companies), it takes a half second to react to visual stimuli (longer if complex: twitch shooting friendly fire) and another half second plus for motor nerve (muscle) response. The "subliminal ads flashed for 1/60th of a frame" thing had studies discrediting it. Some bars have "reaction" testers, its funny to watch people who think they're fast.

Network latency is a killer. Gaming on a fast network like a LAN party or on Microsoft campus is great but the trend is video and mp3 (big file) downloads at the expense of connection time, Clearwire being worse than the old AOL dial-up (proxy caching).

Your video card must translate a digital code to analog to go over the vga cable, the LCD display recieving a VGA signal must translate it to digital, then wait for the portion of the scan with the video update to show up. LCD displays are actually 4 to 36 (more on larger displays) controllers that refresh their own section of screen. Theoretically, like with mpegs, you only have to send the digital data that changed. Sony et al have TVs that run off 802.11 and I've installed presentation panels that ran on USB 1.1.

I've worked on systems for people who actually make money from their computers: CAD operators, stockbrokers, PCB board testers, Medical staff, etc (Lawyers, Realtors,...). and CPU speed, esp floating point, was important for rendering, video card could be mediocre as long as its driver didn't crash.

 

beerzombie

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shjacks, very well stated. People who think they're actually reacting better because they get 60fps instead of 40fps are delusional. Yes it's possible to notice it being smoother, the 120hz TVs have proven that (Infact, to me the 120hz looks worse, I can see the difference and it's so distractingly different that it takes away from watching; this is likely due to interpolating the non-120hz source).

There is about an 8 millisecond difference in when something "shows up" on screen for you in a game w/ 60 vs 40 fps, this is such an indiscernable factor when you consider all the other things that slow down how quickly you process a response and relay it to the game server.
 

cleeve

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It's not reaction time so much as accuracy when aiming... if you're skipping a frame while trying to target, you can overshoot or undershoot if there is a framerate lag. That's my experience anyhoo.
 
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