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Custom Gaming Systems - Antec Nine Hundred Showdown

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MattSlagle View Drop Down
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  Quote MattSlagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Custom Gaming Systems - Antec Nine Hundred Showdown
    Posted: 17 Jul 2008 at 2:24pm

Custom Gaming Systems - Antec Nine Hundred Showdown

While browsing the systems to be built, I saw three Antec Nine Hundred systems with close to similar features and hardware.  Then it struck me that I should have them compete against each other and see exactly what components work and what does not.  Here we will see what video card will reign supreme and if DDR3 really is needed until Nehalem is released.  I do not know about you, but this picture of three amazing Antec 900 systems is just amazing.  However we are going to get down and dirty and finally test if ATI's cards are actually beating its NVidia rivals and also see if DDR3 is all it is cracked up to be.


  System 1 System 2 System 3
System Performance:           
     Queen / PhotoWorxx 17807 / 11105 15254 / 15001 12646 / 15794
     Julia / Mandel 9169 / 4641 6646 / 3415 5518 / 2846


Memory Performance:

    Timings / Latency 5-5-5-15 CR2 / 87.4 ns 5-5-5-18 CR2 / 82.6 ns 7-7-7-20 CR2 / 64.9 ns
    Read / Write 6267 MB/s / 6960 MB/s 6718 MB/s / 8494 MB/s 8120 MB/s / 6978 MB/s
Video Card Performance: 11592 3DMarks 12738 3DMarks 13163 3DMarks



     Processors: Intel C2Q Q9300 @ 2.5 OC Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.6 Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.0
     Cooling: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
     Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro (P45) Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 (X48) Asus P5Q3 Deluxe (Intel P45)
     Video Card: Visiontek Radeon 4870 Visiontek Radeon 4870 XFX GeForce 9800 GTX
     Memory: G.Skill 4GB 800MHz DDR2 OCZ 4GB 1066MHz DDR2 OCZ 4GB Platinum 1333MHz DDR3
     Optical Drive: Lite-On DVD-RW Samsung DVD-RW Lite-On DVD-RW
     Hard Drive: WD 500GB Caviar SE16 WD 320GB Caviar SE16 WD 640GB Caviar SE16
     Power Supply: Corsair Modular 620W Corsair 550W PC Power & Cooling 750W
     OS: Vista Home Premium 64-bit Vista Ultimate 64-bit Vista Home Premium 64-bit

System and memory benchmarks performed with Everest Ultimate Edition

Video card performance benchmarks performed with 3DMark 2006 Professional





Upon looking at the benchmark scores and the specs of the systems, the scores all scale relative to the components and specs.


System Performance:     



Not surprising, but System 1 with its quad-core pulls ahead of the other systems.  However a 100% advantage is not seen due in part to the multiple branches that are seen with this benchmark.  System 2 with its overclocked processor gains a huge lead over its stock clocked brother.



In this benchmark, the tables are turned with Systems 2 and 3 beating the quad core because of their higher read/write speeds.  Even the overclocked processor falls behind the least powerful processor due in part to the DDR3's higher transfer rates.



This is where the quad-core shines again, with double the computational power leads to almost double the performance in this benchmark.



Again, quad-core processors shine in this benchmark.  Scores scale almost linearly with cores and frequency.



Memory Performance:



The DDR2 systems (1 and 2) have much lower timings compared to the DDR3 system.



Despite common perceptions, the DDR3 system actually had the lowest latency.  This is due in part to the memory running at almost double the frequency of the DDR2 systems.



Even though System 2 had higher timings, the OCZ brand of memory produces better quality memory which overcomes the higher timings to achieve higher read/write speeds.  DDR3 shows a major improvement (25%) in the read speed, but at a cost of almost double the frequency to achieve.



Even though System 2 had higher timings, the OCZ brand of memory produces better quality memory which overcomes the higher timings to achieve higher read/write speeds.  DDR3 shows no improvement in the write speeds.  This could be a combination of the chipset, memory modules, or DDR3 limitations.




Video Card Performance:

Games still benefit from having the highest clock speed of the processor.  Like games, 3DMark still awards higher points to a dual-core processor with a higher clock than a quad-core processor with a slower clock.  This is why we see a difference between System 1 and System 2.


However the difference between NVidia and ATI is a wash.  3DMark has always been shown to give NVidia an advantage during the benchmark.  While gaming benchmarks have shown to favor the ATI video card, 3DMark scores still favor the NVidia card.  3DMark has been criticized upon this before, so take this benchmark with a grain of salt.

Edited by avadmin - 24 Aug 2008 at 3:27am
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