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  • ABR - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    You mention the motherboard in this box "made the jump" to EFI. Does that mean the graphics card in it supports EFI? I.e. it can be used unmodified in a MacPro? Reply
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    don´t know what a EFI bios has to do with the GFX card.

    i have an EFI board and can put in a 3 year old 8800 GT card.

    your problem is more likely that the apple crappis build only to run with certain cards.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Your board most likely has BIOS emulation going on to allow the old card to run. As the are extensive differences between EFI and BIOS/CMOS. Cards not supporting EFI will not function on a board with EFI only.

    Boards that are EFI only, without any BIOS emulation, require their video cards to fully support EFI. This is one of the reasons graphics cards for MacPro's are not standard cards. It is believed once PC's decide to finally ditch BIOS/CMOS, that graphics cards will become standardized between the two, allowing for (comparitively) cheap MacPro video cards.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Not a bad build over all, however it seems most games were gpu limited. Stepping down to a 2500k and lowering the price (or keeping it the same to avoid a price hike) would be a good choice for most gamers. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Right. I dont get why they used a 2600K at all since the 2500k is highly likely to overclock to the same 4.4GHz or perhaps even more due to disabled HT. $100 for 4 mostly unused threads and a 30% increase in cache seems like a waste next to a boot drive SSD. Especially if the IGP is disabled. Reply
  • Sihastru - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    2500K lacks HT and has 2MB of cache shaved off. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    HT has limited use anyway. A hyper threaded core will not perform anywhere close to as well as a real physical core. And if gaming is the main purpose of the box, anything over 4 cores is a waste anyway. And the 2MB difference in cache most likely would not have much of an effect either for the majority of games.

    And since this box is designed for gaming, the 2500K would most likely perform identically to the 2600K.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Actually if you look at the gaming benches in the SB review on AT you'll see that the 2500K is FASTER than the 2600K when it comes to gaming, so yeah, this is a weird choice Cyberpower made.

    Must be a marketing thing.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Let's not get carried away, there. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridg...

    i7-2600K comes out ahead in six of the ten games, and there are certainly titles that truly fail to leverage multithreading (hello StarCraft II!). The net difference across the ten tests Anand ran gives the 2600K a 2.3% advantage--negligible, I know, but that certainly doesn't make the 2500K FASTER as you suggest; nearly equal is more like it.

    Besides, people do plenty of other things with their PC besides gaming. Video encoding (x264) was as much as 31% faster on the 2600K, and the compiler test took 31% less time. 7-Zip (MIPS) and POV-Ray also give the 2600K a >35% lead.

    If all you want is a fast gaming system, 2500K is probably the best bang for the buck. If every little speed boost is important, though, and you regularly run some heavily threaded applications, 2600K can end up anywhere from 10% to 40% faster.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    No, I am right.

    The 2600K has a higher clock and that is the cause of the 2.3% advantage.

    Either clock them the same and test or overclock them both as far as they go. I know which one I will put my money on, wanna bet?

    This box is even called the "Gamer Xtreme", so it is obvious who it is buidl for.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    You never said "faster because if the 3% higher clock speed", you just said FASTER. It's not, and even at the same clocks it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. We're mostly GPU limited, but the larger cache (and possibly HTT, though that's unlikely) comes into play.

    There's no reason the 2500K should outperform 2600K; more cache and a slightly higher clock put it ahead, and the days of HTT actually reducing performance are mostly behind us. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the differences are simply margin of error (which can easily be 2% if you're using FRAPS on a game like WoW).

    As to the second assertion that calling something a "Gamer Xtreme" means it's only for gaming, that's ludicrous. I play lots of games, but I also happen to do plenty of image editing and video encoding. I probably spend as much time on Facebook and in other mundane tasks as I do in games, and yet I have a quad-core i7 with 5850 CrossFire. These days, PC gamers are very likely to do social networking as well, which means images and videos.

    I still wouldn't spend $100 extra to get more cache and Hyper-Threading, at least not until I had an SSD in the build (and for gaming, probably a second GPU so I can use my 30" LCD at native res), but if you have everything else you need the 2600K isn't without merits.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Don't get all pedantic on me Jarred. You know perfectly well what I mean.

    Now I am just trying to figure out why someone, the editor even!, gets all feisty about this. That sort of thing feeds people claiming AT takes sides.

    There may be no reason the 2500K should outperfom the 2600K, but it does as can be seen in the charts.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Taking sides in what sense? All I've said is that you're not actually telling the whole story, which is something you continue to do. Call me pedantic for pointing out the facts if you will, but my own experience is such that I'd rather have the extra logical cores of Hyper-Threading. And calling me "feisty" is pretty much a case of the pot calling the kettle black my friend. LOL ("No, I am right. Hold on a sec while I me put on my blinders to explain why....")

    I wish I had some SNB desktop hardware of my own to play with, because there are quite a few unanswered questions I'd like to investigate more. You bring up a few of them--what happens if you disable HTT on the 2600K? Why would the 2500K without HTT ever beat the 2600K with HTT? How far can you push 2500K overclocking vs. 2600K, and what sort of power requirements do you end up with? Is disabling HTT beneficial for overclocking in any way? Like I said, plenty of questions left unanswered.

    I don't know if somehow there's some scheduling going on (suggested by risa2000 below) that gets in the way of performance in some games or what. I will say that I've never felt Windows' scheduler was all that impressive, and the way it appears to wake the CPU up all the time just to verify that no one needs work done is obvious when you look at what Apple achieves with battery life compared to Windows. Win7 is an improvement but it's by no means perfect. Let's hope for better in Windows 8.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Wow, excuse me for apparently misjudging the average level here at AT.

    I thought people here were smart enough to not need everything spelled out and not need every conclusion drawn out.

    If two chips are compared one of which is 0.1ghz faster than the other and the slower one is faster than the faster one in 4 out of 10 games and the faster one is faster than the slower one in 6 out of 10 games with only a 2.3% advantage and based on that data someone calls the slower one faster overall it is pretty obvious what he means right? Or is that rocketscience right there?
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Lets review a few facts here. These are probably ES chips (at least one of the ones Anand photographed was). That means there might be more variation in what they can handle than in production batches. Assuming Anand's tests were done with all normal features enabled, could be the gaming tests were sensitive to something like this particular example of a 2600K running warmer, and using turbo less. I haven't played with any of these and I doubt you have either, but after CES some of the editors probably will have a chance to answer some of these questions Reply
  • SlyNine - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Rocket Science has a long way to go before it can decipher that dribble.

    They don't make upward shovels so quit before you end up in china.
    Reply
  • risa2000 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Speaking about Starcraft 2 and 2600K drop mentioned in Sandy Bridge review: Could it be possible that SC2 in fact tries to utilize all 8 logical cores, but due to some implementation issues blocks a lot?

    It would be possible to test, if you could run SC2 on 2600K with only physical cores enabled (HT disabled) - though it is not probably worthy the time.

    On the other side, it might be a "good" question to some Intel insider to explain this anomaly - which may also help developers to code "correctly" for HT enabled machine.
    Reply
  • L. - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    HT is bad for current games.
    if you activate HT on a 2600K and measure it against a 2500K you might see some issues :)

    Again, fail PC . who the hell would OC their 2600k and STOP at 4.4 ??
    Like hello, you can do 5 Ghz on air, why not just do it and be happy ?

    For the same price I can get me a 5 ghz 2600k and a GTX580 so . again boutiques miss the point.

    On the other side, I live in a world where the word "blu-ray" means "another failed optical media" and thus I can't appreciate this product to it's full extent ...

    But seriously, why does no real geek work for these companies ?
    Reply
  • NuclearDelta - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    This is the second time I saw them slammed. Are they really that bad? Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    People like to fool themselves.

    Oh it is cheap, so it must be bad. All the while forgetting that they think expensive is good only because they were learned that from a young age by marketing, etc. Some companies choose to do it another way. With the result they can sell high end ram for lower prices.

    If you look at the reviews for the fast (and cheap!) A-Data ram on Newegg for example they are excellent pieces of hardware. There are enough people who are willing to look through brands and get the best from it.

    4GB PC3 12800 for $48.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    etc. Great ratings.
    Reply
  • Anosh - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Am I the only one not getting very much out of this review due to the mix of hardware; single gpu vs sli both with different cpu generations and overclock? I can't get a proper perspective to be able to decide if this system is performing as it should or better. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Yes and no. It's not the easiest to compare, but AT is given what they're given, you sort of have to fill in the rest.

    Something's better than nothing. I'm still unimpressed to see the BCLK wasn't touched; but I don't know much about OC. If you raise the voltage, does it become a static voltage? Also, is the speedstep/turbo (whatever it's called) still employed, or do you only have one steady OC when up'ing the voltage.

    44x multiplier is pseudo decent, I'd expect more from liquid cooled. I'd also expect the BCLK to get up to 104-107.
    Reply
  • beepboy - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Sandy Bridge has a built in clock generator, so raising the BCLK will result in system instability and the gains from it is abysmal. I suggest you read Anand's earlier post on Sandy Bridge.

    On nicer boards (even on current P55), you can raise CPU voltage as 'offset'. This isn't static, and the board will manage the voltage as required by the CPU and applying the offset. So at maximum TDP the board will add whatever offset you applied. This is nice because during idle you can still have sub 1 V draw.

    Moore's law will still apply and I think there's a soft wall (binning) past the 44x multiplier. These systems go through extensive 24 hour burn-in test with multiple benches for system stability and I bet if they could have been pushed further they would have.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Hi Dustin,

    I disagree with your conclusion that the OC on the system can be let off the hook. The fact that SandyBridge is so easy to OC (due to the limited amount of factors you can actually change) means it takes much LESS effort than previous CPU's. Flipping a multiplier setting in the BIOS while making no other changes is borderline brainless. I'm sure ALL boutique builds using the new chip will have similar OC's so giving them a pass because they kept idle voltages low is like giving them credit for Intel's work.....

    The caveat to this post is (if they don't pull the switch-aroo again) is that the build price is low enough when factoring in the components that the OC can almost be considered "free".
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    I agree. I'm just now reading your comment and I've already left two other comments about the OC.

    Sometimes vendors charge extra for an OC, since it does require more manual intervention. Perhaps that's what happened here; they got a standard OC (just the multiplier), but you could pay more money and get the the timings/vcore/bclk adjusted as well.

    To me this isn't considered an "OC" by CyberPower, it's merely changing a config setting.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Keep in mind that this is the first encounter Dustin has had with SNB, and his review was written separately (and before) Anand's write-up. I've added an editor's note on the overclock and modified things a bit, but honestly we have to wait and see what other vendors are willing to offer before we can truly say how this OC stands up. It's certainly more compelling than the stuff Dustin encountered with the previous 1366/1156 platforms, but that may simply be the Sandy Bridge influence. I have a feeling most reasonable overclocks on 2600K will fall into the 4.6GHz Turbo range, and I'm not really sure praising the final 4.5% overclock (relative to this 4.4GHz) is really that useful. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Hi Jarred,

    Thanks for the reply. I guess my problem is the artificial limitation placed on a REALLY GOOD (thermally) chip by having everything but the voltages and multiplier essentially locked. The number of variables removed (and the smaller reliance on quality ram/mobo and tweaks as per Anand's review of the SNB platform) makes the job EASIER for the boutique builders to get a great OC that it makes me MORE critical not less.

    You mentioned the 1366/1156 platforms, but all of those required (or should have) a lot more time invested in setting voltages/timings/etc. Yes the one review that had the cpu constantly run at a high clock-speed was unforgivable, but the other systems where "lazy" was thrown around probably took significantly more effort than the xtreme4000 which (without me seeing the bios settings firsthand) was likely a SINGLE number change for the multiplier (ok maybe 4 changes.....all with the same number) since it was mentioned in the review that everything else was left on auto.

    When you get such a mature process as SNB where you can get hefty OC's using the rinky-dink stock Intel cooler, I think we need to hold these builders to a higher standard.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond to comments.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    I thought Anand got 4.4-to-4.5 GHz on stock air cooling. Something seems wrong when they only got 4.4GHz with liquid cooling. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Nothing is wrong, it's just a completely sloppy OC. These new chips allow a single change to be made (the multiplier) and you can OC quite a bit due to the great thermals. So rather then chew out Cyberpower for a (literally) 2-second OC job, they get praised for not changing the idle clocks.

    Again it's tough to be harsh due to the price (if they actually are going to honor the price from the review), but let's call a spade a spade, it's a basic OC in every sense of the word.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    So correct me if I am wrong, I was tired when I read the Sandy Bridge Article, but the over clock here is only for when the chip is in Turbo mode correct?

    IE: If all 4 cores are in use, its running at 3.4?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    I believe the overclock applies to all the Turbo modes. So the 4.4GHz is for single-threaded, and you'd get lower than that for dual-core/multi-core operation. Intel didn't specifically list the Turbo states for the desktop chips (see my SNB Mobile article for comparison, where they explicitly list what SC, DC, and QC can Turbo up to), but if they do something similar to the mobile parts then you should still see up to ~4.0GHz even when loading all four cores. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Edit: Okay, maybe this is the correct info from a different slide. Intel appears to state that on the desktop CPUs, Max Turbo is +4 bins for SC, +3 bins for DC, +2 bins for TC, and +1 bin for QC. That means if you set the Max Turbo to 4.4GHz, quad-core could still hit 4.1GHz (assuming temperatures are acceptable). Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Hmm, ok. Still seams a bit confusing the way they have it written. If its +1 but for QC, wouldn't that mean 1 bin up from the base clock? So if you over clocked the turbo from 3.8 to 4.4 thats effectively 600MHz, so 600Mhz over 3.4GHz is 4GHz? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Yeah, that's what I'm not sure about. Can you raise the max Turbo for SC/DC/TC/QC separately? I don't think so, but I don't have any desktop hardware so I can't say for sure. It would make more sense to have the DC/TC/QC Turbo be Max - 1/2/3 in my book. I believe there's also some stuff in the BIOS where you can set the thermal/power range on the CPU (Ian mentioned this in the ASRock mobo review I think? Or maybe it was Anand's article....) I guess right now I'm stuck looking for information as well, while I long for SNB hardware other than the notebook I got. :-) Reply
  • cyberpowerpc - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Just to clarify some concerns regarding the OC:

    The 4.4 GHz OC is modest for Sandy Bridge. We could have easily shipped a 4.8/4.9 GHz system but feel that we did not want to ship a system with an Overclock that we, in the end, may not support.

    Additionally, for the max turbo ratio, you can individually set what the DC/TC/QC turbo. In the review system, the max turbo ratio was set to x44 and that applies to DC/TC/QC.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Thank you for the reply, but what you are basically saying is you chose a single (modest) multiplier and put it for all DC/TC/QC values. Why would you choose the same number when the thermals should be vastly different (ie DC multiplier should be significantly higher than the QC multiplier)?

    I think you just confirmed how basic this "OC" really was.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Thanks for replying. It clears up the question that I had regarding the various turbo speeds.

    However, why not set the turbo speed for DC to a higher level than TC or QC? It should be easily doable from a thermal standpoint, unless testing showed this to not be true and/or some other issue came up.

    I understand not wanting to go too far and then not be able to support it, that makes perfect sense from your point of view. however.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    Sandy-M LGA-1055 does seem amazing, yet for those who don't know Sandy-E LGA-2011 is due in July. Native USB 3.0, LightPeak support, the new X-68 chipset, Quad-Channel memory, integrated north bridge, now that's worth waiting 6months for! The enthusiast platform CPU, Mainboard, and Memory, should cost only $200 to $250 more, well worth the investment! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    I didn't think X68 (or whatever) was slated to get USB3.0, though I haven't really looked into that I admit. LightPeak might be nice though. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    According to Anand's article, SNB-E won't be until Q4, i.e. October at the earliest http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridg... Reply
  • Ravenfeeder - Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - link

    It's interesting to see the first SNB machine, but it's not exactly an extreme gaming machine with on 4GB of RAM and no SSD. Depends on what games you're playing obviously, but time after time recently I've thanked the gods that I have more than 4GB and wished that I had a SSD when gaming. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 - link

    Here's something called a "Gamer Ultra" with a 5450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    these names are obviously just thrown around, for the CyberPower systems available at Newegg that "Gamer Ultra" name also applies to a system with dual 5870s, where it is much more deserved.
    Reply

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