System Builder Marathon Q2 2015: Value Comparison

Status
Not open for further replies.

Jarlve

Reputable
Jul 1, 2015
1
0
4,510
0
Test is biased towards work PC. It is hard to differentiate between systems in your graphs.

5/10.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
That's probably why so many readers demanded a 5820K last winter.


That's why I retained the same order throughout the article. This chart format works best with 5 or fewer configurations, 6 was a stretch and 8 is too much for some readers. We'll most likely go back to fewer configurations next time.
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
I'm not sure I enjoyed this SBM as much as usual. In past cycles, even builds that have been bad have presented additional "data points" to use when evaluating new builds in general. Don's 4x Crossfire HD4850 build, Paul's Celeron+flagship graphics machine, and Thomas' beautiful Antec Professional PC stand out in that regard.
I'm not sure these systems show anything new or unexpected, although there may still be people who don't realize just how effective mini-ITX can be. The silicon lottery played its part, and thermal problems raised their ugly head as well.
Not to defend "we've always done it this way," for its own sake, but I'm sure I'm not the only one a little exasperated by some of Julio's choices and methods. With few exceptions, I could see why any of the three previous builders did certain things (Don's cheap case selection(s) being one of those exceptions), but I hardly know where to begin with Julio. It's not even that he's blatantly "wrong" about things, but his builds felt awkward; maybe like music where A=432Hz is notably different from music where A is tuned to 440Hz.
Of these builds, I prefer the mITX boxes. My own games and single monitor need nothing more than a GTX970, so that makes Thomas' little box the one I'd prefer to win.
 

salgado18

Distinguished
Feb 12, 2007
637
64
19,070
4
Am I the only one who can't see a big case such as the Rosewill Neutron as an ITX? I mean, it's like a regular tower, just two bays lower. Compare that to DIYPC's case, now that's something you can call compact.
 

James Mason

Polypheme
Moderator


I kind of agree, but that's because mini-itx cases are kinda weird as the are likely one of two extremes. They're either short and long, like the coolermaster elite 1## / haf stacker series, or tall and "fat" like the rosewill neutron. (HTPC cases are a different class)
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Since the little cube PC was the only one of mine (the workhorses) noticeably noisy, I measured it. Overclocked, it produced 42.4db under combined load (card spins up), 34.3db idle. I reset it to stock, and it dropped to 35.9db under combined load and 32db idle. Both of those are at 1m. Since the full tower didn't get my attention, I can guess it was at least 6db quieter.

I never got a chance to hear the gaming machines running.
 

synphul

Champion
Moderator
I'm sure the tests were done as accurately as possible, there will always be margins for error but a few of the test results seemed really out of place. For instance the 7zip times. The gaming pc scored the worst/slowest but when oc'd it performed even better than the oc'd work/performance pc? By a huge margin no less. I can see there being different variables due to program behavior, how well it makes use of multiple threads and so on. It doesn't explain how there was such a huge leap from stock to oc'd game pc build vs the much less significant jump from stock to oc'd performance pc. Many results were in line with one another while others seemed to be all over the place.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator
I like the theory of this SBM: every system gets equal money but different themes. Doing such should reveal how shifting balance around in system components affects overall system performance. But I have to agree with Joe. It just felt . . . awkward.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
My guess is that the program crashed but the timer closed without registering the crash :) New builder doesn't know what an errant result looks like yet, but he's learning quickly!

 

synphul

Champion
Moderator
I agree with RedJaron, sometimes it's hard to explain to people who are looking for performance. Marketing and packaging focus on one thing and people get stuck on cpu performance or gpu performance and there really is quite a shift ranging from everything in between depending how the system is laid out within the same budget.

@ Crashman - oh ok, that makes a bit more sense. Nothing like learning in front of an audience, trial by fire haha.
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
It's a lot more awkward than outright wrong, else we'd probably have had to moderate significantly more caustic remarks. The data does not align neatly with prior data points.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff

The funny remarks in the final piece? Sorry, Julio was still finishing his up by the mid afternoon and I just crammed the article into two-hours of messing with the charts and 2-hours of writing about the charts.

Oh, and he's not Canadian...
 

Dan414

Reputable
Dec 24, 2014
127
0
4,710
11
Thanks for doing this work. I enjoyed second-guessing the builders at every step. As with others, I like the concept.
Here's an idea I wonder if you could work into the next one: How big a price difference can be made between a small, quiet, svelt, high quality part mITX build and a big, noisy, ugly or even cheap ATX build, but get relatively the same performance?
 

CRITICALThinker

Honorable
Feb 2, 2014
538
8
11,165
77
Was there no way to get an i7 in the gaming machine? mucked around a bit on this, it may not fit completely in due to Newegg being a reseller as well, but -

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kfcTgs
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kfcTgs/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($121.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($93.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($110.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB FTW ACX 2.0 Video Card ($499.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF Stacker 915F Mini ITX Tower Case ($35.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA GS 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1457.88
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-02 00:59 EDT-0400
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff

I think he was trying to make this a fair fight. I was just trying to win :)
 

wtfxxxgp

Honorable
Nov 14, 2012
173
0
10,680
0
I'd personally like to see a head to head build at every price point that is dedicated to branding. For example, for 1600 USD, give us a work PC and gaming PC but do it as an AMD vs Intel - you can do a whole host of different configurations this way too because you could say that an Intel machine should have a version that relies on AMD GPU and vice versa etc.

I think this will eventually show us just how important the Relative Pricing is between brands. A full AMD system could end up having double the storage capacity of the Intel build for the same money for example. It's just a zygote of an idea, you guys can thrash out details if it seems like something interesting or viable to do for a future SBM session.
 

Giroro

Honorable
Jan 22, 2015
795
196
11,190
13
The "mini" gaming PC appears to be larger than the full-sized ones in terms of overall volume, as it is wider than a normal PC, albeit a little shorter... It looks like it wouldn't fit on the 'desktop PC' sized shelf that a lot of desks come outfitted with, which is ridiculous. Could you really not fit an identical cooler on the mini ITX gaming PC that you did on the full sized one?
Also, what happened to the "If you can afford a 980 then you can afford a 980 Ti" sentiment from Tom's?

Overall, I think the builds are too similar to justify doing it 4 times.
 

Giroro

Honorable
Jan 22, 2015
795
196
11,190
13
One more thing, the entry form says:
"One (1) $1600 Mini Performance PC Approximate retail value: $1,1596.00"

I hope I don't win that one until you fix the typo, because I don't want to pay taxes on an $11k computer.
 

Ben Archer

Reputable
Dec 29, 2014
12
0
4,510
0
Though practically difficult, it would be fun to see the two builders work to together combining the best components of each (mutually decided upon) and see how it stacks up, both in performance and price. How much value do you lose going for the best of both worlds?
 

synphul

Champion
Moderator
I think it would be interesting too, amd vs intel though when scoring for performance there's no real contest unfortunately. Adding additional hard drives and so forth won't make a pc faster unless it's a highly i/o intensive build for specific programs and makes use of raid arrays. Without doing an entire build, it really comes down to the core basics of cpu/motherboard and potentially cpu cooler. The rest of the system can remain the same and those components alone will determine the price/performance difference. It's already been done countless times. Amd's and intel chips aside from getting caught up in speed or core count across the two different platforms are priced very close to one another in terms of price/performance. Until it gets to the i7's where amd really has nothing to compete at that level no matter if it was a $1600 build and any negligible price savings of the cpu/mobo went to an additional hard drives or other components.
 

AndrewJacksonZA

Distinguished
Aug 11, 2011
477
11
18,785
0


Thanks Crash.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS