Performance and Benchmarks

One great thing about boutique PC builders is that they aren't paid big bucks from software developers to include their titles on new machines. The copy of Windows 7 on the Shift is as fresh as the day it was installed. The only pieces of software that came preinstalled are Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 and EVGA's Precision graphics tuning program, both of which are quite useful.

It's important to mention that the six-core CPU in our Shift is overclocked to 4.33 GHz from the stock speed of 3.33 GHz. The Kingston memory is operating at 1,734 MHz at 9-9-9-24. According to EVGA's Precision program, each graphics card is running at 810 / 1,620 / 1,850 MHz on the Core, Shader and Memory clocks, respectively.

Below we've included some reference benchmark results from the several tests we ran on the Shift to give you an idea of how its processor, graphics cards, memory, and hard drive perform under load. Note that gaming tests were run on a 24" Samsung monitor with a max supported resolution of 1920x1080. Ideally, you would want a 30" monitor capable of 2560x1600 or even multiple displays to fully utilize the triple-SLI capability.

For the sake of comparison, we have included benchmark results from two of the systems we reviewed back in August in our mainstream gaming desktop round-up. It's obvious there is no competition between systems that are on a completely different class, the Maingear F131 and the Acer Predator are both sub-$2,000 gaming desktops.

Maingear Shift with Super Stock Options System Specs

Hardware:

  • Intel Core i7-980X Extreme overclocked at 4.33GHz
  • 6GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000MHz
  • Asus Rampage III Extreme X58 motherboard
  • 3x EVGA GeForce GTX 480
  • 2x 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300
  • 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM HDD
  • 1.5KW SilverStone Strider modular power supply

Maingear F131 System Specs

Hardware:

  • Intel Core i5 655K (4.5GHz overclock, 4MB L3 cache)
  • 4GB Crucial DDR3-1333
  • Asus P7P55D-E Pro motherboard
  • 2x Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 in SLI (1536MB GDDR5 Total)
  • 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM HDD
  • SilverStone Strider Plus 750W modular power supply

Acer Predator System Specs

Hardware:

  • Intel Core i7 930 (2.8GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • 12GB Samsung DDR3-1333
  • Acer motherboard with Intel X58 Express chipset
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 with 1280 GDDR5
  • 1.5TB Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drive
  • FSP Group 750W power supply
Benchmark Results

Maingear Shift Maingear F131 Acer Predator
3DMark 06 (higher is better)
3DMark Score 30208 3DMarks 23592 3DMarks 19024 3DMarks
CPU Score 9118 4763 5140
3DMark Vantage (higher is better)
3DMark Score P51815 P26349 P18003
GPU Score 46139 23502 14872
CPU Score 82122 41391 48871
Super PI Mod 1.5 (lower is better)
1M test 0m 9.440 sec 0m 9.516 sec 0m 13.588 sec
4M test 0m 48.070 sec 0m 52.509 sec 1m 09.092 sec
Sandra processor arithmetic (higher is better)
Agregate arithmetic performance 160.63 GOPS 55.78 GOPS 72.86 GOPS
Dhrystone iSSE4.2 186.22 GIPS 64.73 GIPS 84.22 GIPS
Whetstone iSSE3 135 GFLOPS 46.84 GFLOPS 61.5 GFLOPS
Sandra processor multimedia (higher is better)
Aggregate multimedia performance 305 MPixel/s 105.47 MPixel/s 139.23 MPixel/s
Multimedia Integer x16 iSSE4.1 349 MPixel/s 120.26 MPixel/s 159.67 MPixel/s
Multimedia Float x8 iSSE2 262 MPixel/s 90.68 MPixel/s 118.79 MPixel/s
Multimedia Double x4 iSSE2 140 MPixel/s 49.35 MPixel/s 64.58 MPixel/s
Sandra memory bandwidth (higher is better)
Aggregate Memory Performance 27.3 GB/s 13.76 GB/s 19 GB/s
Integer Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth 27.3 GB/s 13.74 GB/s 19 GB/s
Float Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth 27.3 GB/s 13.78 GB/s 19 GB/s
Sandra memory latency (lower is better)
Memory Latency 57 ns 103 ns 82 ns
Speed Factor 61.50 110.50 58.50
Sandra file systems
Drive Score (higher is better) 369 MB/s 110.44 MB/s 84 MB/s
Random Access Time (lower is better) 0 ms 6.54 ms 9.1 ms

Gaming Performance

Maingear Shift Maingear F131 Acer Predator
Mafia II (High graphics settings)
1920 x 1080, 16x AA/AF 159.3 fps 64.0 fps 47.3 fps
Crysis (Very high graphics settings)
1920 x 1080, 16x AA 73.4 fps 38.5 fps 22.9 fps
Far Cry 2 (Highest graphics settings)
1920 x 1080, 8x AA 192.2 fps 88.9 fps 71.2 fps