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Benchmarking TechSpot's PC Buying Guide Systems: We built and tested them; see how they compare

By Steve · 18 replies
May 29, 2015
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  1. benchmarking techspot buying guide systems performance benchmark pc buying guide

    Breaking down today's best hardware across five price points, the TechSpot PC buying guide was recently updated with our latest recommendations. Starting at ~$500 for a well-balanced machine capable of medium workloads, up to $3,000+ for the Luxury build, which includes the best PC hardware recommendations when budget is not a big concern. This time around we also threw in a budgetless Extreme Machine, which effectively doubles the cost of our long-standing Luxury System, disregarding price-to-performance value altogether in favor of packing the biggest and baddest hardware available, period.

    To top it all off, for the first time we are actually going to build each system and show you the kind of performance each price point delivers.

    Read the complete review.

  2. About the power consumption and 3rd bar (total -> power * time (page before)) could also be interesting.
    pc 1 150w takes 30sec -> 4500w
    pc 2 100w takes 60sec -> 6000w
  3. Magneto10

    Magneto10 TS Enthusiast Posts: 27

    Very nice builds. I might consider The Enthusiast's PC build, with some modifications
    Steve likes this.
  4. Filip B

    Filip B TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +9

    Please those are not Watts but Joules. The first PC is just 0.00125 kWh and the other 0.001667 kWh. This is what you are billed for.
  5. zaku49

    zaku49 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +7

  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,836   +1,958

    Because one Titan X is more extreme than two right? Or the possibility of four :S

    The only thing more extreme is the processor and we talked about the potential of going Xeon. Moreover the Asrock X99E-ITX/ac which we reviewed in great detail here...

    Isn't nearly as extreme as the X99 WS-E/10G.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  7. zaku49

    zaku49 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +7

    It's the size, all about the size! These days it's all about the Size to Performance Ratio. One Titan X can run anything alone plus this thing can fit into a freakin drawer or small backpack.

    I also don't feel that a "Luxury System" should be a giant tower from the 90s. Everything now is made smaller and more energy efficient.. Realistically speaking it's more impressive to people seeing how compact and powerful your computer is compared to having an ugly fridge on your desk..

    An example would be the Corsair Mini-ITX 380T simple and sexy.
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  8. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,582   +962

    I'm with @Steve here. @zaku49 that's your personal preference but you're not taking under consideration the premise of each system, this is a follow up to our PC Buying Guide:

    Constraining by size is not part of that premise. That said, we hear you (check out the link below), it's just not part of what we were trying to achieve in this article...

    The Ridiculously Powerful MicroATX PC
    Steve likes this.
  9. speedforce131

    speedforce131 TS Rookie

  10. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,836   +1,958

    More suitable for what? Our build was cheaper at $356 and we didn’t have to cherry pick the absolute lowest prices from four different outlets.

    Moreover we included a hard drive that was 4x larger or an SSD depending on preference. That case is next to impossible to find and the 2133 memory that we picked is a better choice than the 1600 memory.

    You are also assuming the builder wants a discrete graphics card.

    In any case to say one build is more suitable than the other seems a little strange as they are essentially the same build with a few very minor alterations.

    If you are building the system purely for gaming then the Athlon X4 is a bad choice in my opinion. You are far better off with a Pentium G3258 Anniversary ‘Haswell’ CPU which is the same price as the Athlon X4 860K. The G3258 is not only faster but also more fuel efficient (unless you overclock the snot out of it) and no I don’t care that it is a dual-core vs. a quad-core, core efficiency is king.

    The A10-7850K featured in the review linked above is essentially the same CPU as the Athlon X4 860K but with the R7 graphics integrated of course. As you can see for gaming worst case senario for the Pentium G3258 Anniversary sees it match the A10-7850K. Best case it crushes it. It is the same story when looking at application and even encoding performance.
  11. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 294   +99

    Excellent builds I wonder if you could spare me one... jeje
  12. speedforce131

    speedforce131 TS Rookie

    For the price. My build does everything while your build can only operate applications and those applications can't be GPU dependent. Your 356 dollar build versus my 399 loses instantly and you know it. I would not spend 356 dollars to get that kind of performance. I'd rather take a Playstation 4.

    Better in relation to what? Can you prove without a shadow of a doubt that 1600 beats 2133 in a real situation? Let's say we have two of the same systems. Except you swapped out the 1600 w/ the 2133. How much less difference in a response time are we talking? Not to mention you can overclock that 1600 RAM....

    I would assume that the builder wants to get his money's worth. It seems like you setup that build to fall instead of putting up a real build that someone might want.

    You are a bit behind the times my friend. The G3258 chokes at critical points where there is heavy CPU usage. There's a point where the efficiency can only hold up so much before it's true nature as a dual core holds it back.

    You can see here @1:13

    the G3258 chokes hard when he goes into the city w/ lots of NPC's and rides around. Right after that, you'll see the i3 go up against the 6300 and again, the true nature of the dual core catches up w/ the i3. The 6300 is able to maintain a high framerate while the i3 chokes in the heavily crowded areas.

    Now regarding your previous tests w/ the G3258, especially w/ the games, those games were made for DC's in mind and even on a QC, core usage was still inefficient (which was bog standard at the time). For today's games, core usage is a lot better and it's a lot more evenly distributed. That's why the 6300 and 8320/50 are doing much better on today's games (such as Witcher 3, GTA V) compared to games from last year and before that. It's actually saturating those CPU's and getting closer to using all of it's power.

    So let's take a look at the G3258 running Witcher 3:

    You can see here it runs at a pretty smooth 30~33 fps when out in the wilderness but once the wolves start attacking, the FPS drops pretty hard in the low 20's.

    Now let's take a look at the 860k

    Normally out in the wilderness, FPS ranges from 50-61 and maintains that even with multiple enemy NPC's on screen at once.

    So as you can see, it's short sighted (if not, disingenuous as well) to recommend a G3258 for budget gaming, especially for today's games. If you're going to have a 400 dollar budget, you might as well put that money where you'll get the most out of it.
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  13. Don't feed the troll @Steve ;)
  14. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,836   +1,958

    Our budget build is described as being ideal for general usage, not dedicated gaming. Why recommend the readers spend $50 more on a $350 system so it can play games better, if they have no intention of gaming or just want to play Minecraft.

    For those more focused on gaming we included the R7 260X results and naturally if you are going that way the AMD Athlon X4 860K makes more sense than the AMD APU.

    All you have done is swap out the $105 A8-7650K for the $181 Athlon X4 860K/R7 260X combo. Of course to get the price down you have also dumped the 2TB hard drive for a 500GB model.

    Not to mention that your build isn’t just $50 more. If you still need the larger hard drive and don’t want to pay for shipping from four different online retailers then it is likely going to be over $100 more expensive.

    Wow that’s rich. Where to start? First of all The Witcher III is not a CPU intensive game and while it does take full advantage of quad-cores the utilization is so low it doesn’t matter. The Core i7-4790K saw less than 20% utilization while the FX-9590 was around 50%.

    The two videos you linked to prove nothing. If you didn’t spot it, the Intel Pentium G3258 video has HairWorks enabled in all the tests whereas the AMD Athlon X4 860K video has it disabled the entire time. Apparently you didn't notice but look into the impact of Nvidia's HairWorks, particularly the minimum frame rates.

    The frame rates drops into the low 20’s when the wolves attack not because the G3258 is having a hard time but because the HairWorks enabled wolves are slaying the GTX 960 :)

    In an apples to apples comparison the Pentium G3258 and Athlon X4 860K will deliver similar performance in The Witcher 3, though I expect the G3258 will be slightly faster when using high-end GPUs.

    Yes, the G3258 tanks in modern games that heavily utilize four cores but in those same games the Athlon X4 860K is no faster.

    Good advice, I will now take it ;) It's probably a bit late though!
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

  16. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,836   +1,958

  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Steve likes this.
  18. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 264   +84

    Thanks for these benchmarks. It was really helpful.
    Steve likes this.
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,836   +1,958

    You are most welcome.

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