Gaming Performance

Since we refreshed our gaming benchmark suite, we've had to start from scratch on our gaming charts. Unfortunately that means we've seen two GeForce GTX 580-based systems and a single GeForce GTX 555, which is the reason why the "Unknown Sample" with its Radeon HD 7970 has been included. The recent Skyrim 1.4 patch and high resolution texture pack also invalidated some of our test results with AVADirect's silent gaming system, so those have been omitted.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

Civilization V

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

The GeForce GTX 580 may be in its last days, but it's still plenty of graphics card for our 1080p testing suite. Hopefully Kepler will bring support for three displays with it, because gaming technology just hasn't been keeping up with the performance available from our current graphics hardware at this resolution. Even QWXGA and QHD (e.g. 30" and 27" high-resolution displays) can generally run off a single GTX 580 or HD 7970 with all the settings cranked up.

System Performance Build, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • Flunk - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I'm not a big fan of the look of the case but the support for high-end graphics cards makes this a much more viable system than the Alienware X51. This could be a good option for gamers who don't build their own systems and don't want to pay the boutique prices.
  • cknobman - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    A. This thing is UGLY AS PHUCK
    B. Note: Custom motherboard and Custom power supply. If either ever goes out your screwed.
    C. Looks to be waaaaaay overpriced.

    I learned the hard way (before I started building my own computers) that "custom" parts just mean cheap OEM crap that you cannot replace. I will never go back down that road.
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    One thing you can count on in any review of a case, is that someone will post saying it's ugly.

    No, no it's not fundamentally ugly, but your belief that your opinion means anything more than personal preference is.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    In the case of the power supply, "Custom" just means it's not any specific brand and we don't know who makes it or whether it's 80 Plus/Bronze/Silver/Gold. AFAIK, both Dell and HP have long since abandoned their proprietary power supply connectors. The motherboard on the other hand is likely BTX, which would mean using anything else in the case likely wouldn't work. Dustin would have to confirm this however.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    The motherboard is actually micro-ATX. It can be replaced.
  • Ratman6161 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Well, you could probably build one yourself a bit cheaper, but without adding up the numbers probably not a lot cheaper. Remember that the i7-3960x CPU alone is $1049 on NewEgg. And the cheapest x79 motherboard is $204. Cheapest Gtx 580 is $459. So just with those three components you would be over $1700.

    So I don't think its particularly over priced for an OEM System.
  • Iketh - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I have it at about $500 cheaper if you build it yourself.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    What exactly did you put in there? Let me five you my list at Newegg:

    ASRock X79 EXTREME4-M mATX ($219)
    Intel Core i7-3960X ($1050)
    Corsair H70 cooler ($80)
    Zotac GeForce GTX 580 ($460)
    Mushkin 16GB (4 x 4GB) ($80)
    Intel 320 Series 160GB ($265)
    Hitachi 500GB 7200 RPM ($85)
    Flash reader ($20)
    Encore ENEWI-2XN45 Wireless N300 ($15)
    Fractal Design Core 1000 ($40)
    Corsair CX600 V2 600W ($70)
    LITE-ON 12X Blu-ray Combo ($60)
    Windows HP x64 OEM ($100)
    Keyboard and Mouse ($20)
    Total: $2564

    Of course, the GTX 580 is no longer even an option at HP, and the same goes for the 160GB SSD (at least on the model I selected) so we'd be looking at GTX 550 Ti and a 256GB SSD in it's place. You can get that configuration for $2559 from HP. Making similar changes to the Newegg order, we end up with $2379.

    Either way, it looks like HP is charging a premium of about $300 to build and configure their systems at the very high end. If you go with something more reasonable (like the i7-2600 h9t model), the price difference is more like $200 over building it yourself. It's not an awesome deal, but it's also not bad either -- pretty much in line with what you'd pay at a boutique.
  • alterecho_ - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    It seems to be possible to fit in a 7950 in the X51:

    So i think the X51 has potential for future cards.
  • ViperV990 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Hopefully the case looks better in person, but in the photos it reminds me of cheap e-machine towers, very plasticky. The steel used also looks to be rather thin.

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