Completed System Builds and Software Used

On arrival of the parts we took our normal analytical look at what we perceived the possible builds with the equipment we have on hand. Taking into account that these new CPU’s and Mainboards are not just only aimed at the general public but the system builder too that supports the professional arena. Therefore we see a rather juicy multimedia system that can be supported by either ATI’s or Nvidia’s Multimedia Cards. Or, a superb mid-range professional graphics workstation that fully utilises the new SATA ratification and if you really wish to push the boat out, overclock the system in either mode. There are a few professional system integrator companies now providing these racked standalone solutions, though take heed, overclock the system in the professional market and you null and void your warranty. Current system integrators suppliers are providing their own warranty’s as we go to print. So for once the mid range units are now affordable and we have at our disposal another excellent multimedia / workstation system to clarify oddities that some might see or hear of.


Sandy Bridge Test Systems


1 X 3.4GHz Intel® Core™ i7 2600K Processor


Intel® Mainboard DP67BG


4 X 2GB Crucial Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-17000 (2133MHz)

Hard Drive(s)

1 X 256GB Crucial C300 SSD (Multimedia Set-Up)


1 X Western Digital 600GB VelociRaptor (Professional System Set-Up)

Graphic Card(s)

1 X ATI FirePro® V8800 (Professional System Set-Up)


1 X NVIDIA Quadro® 5000 (Professional System Set-Up)


1 X Nvidia Geforce® GTX580 (Multimedia Set-Up)


1 X Sapphire Technology® Radeon HD 6970 (Multimedia Set-Up)

Operating System

Windows 7 Professional  64-Bit

Intel EU for the supply of the 3.4GHz Intel® Core™ i7 2600K Processor and Intel Mainboard DP67BG

Crucial Memory  the Crucial Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-17000 (2133MHz) Unbuffered Non ECC Memory and 256GB Crucial C300 SSD

 for the Supply of the ATI FirePro® V8800 professional graphic card

NVIDIA® for the supply of the Quadro® 5000 professional graphic card and Geforce GXT 580 Multimedia graphic card

Sapphire Technology® Radeon HD 6970 Multimedia graphic card

Western Digital® for the supply of the 600GB VelociRaptor

With the support and help of all the companies involved.   It gives you the reader a choice on upgrade paths that many of you look for here with the performance ratio’s the system has to provide

Systems Integrators, OEM’s and VAR’s should contact all companies directly for pricing and availability of all components.   Members of the public should contact their respective suppliers requesting the parts directly.   One main e-tailer that can supply the EU reader readily all the parts listed you should pop over to SCAN  and see what  todays best bottom dollar deal is on the main parts listed. 

In order to test all the parts we have broken down the results to case specific pages.  Therefore one will see result pages for the system and each of the graphics cards listed.   Each card performs differently and taking into account the generation gap in some areas it is unethical to pitch them head to head.

The plethora of benchmarks available in this arena; one could spend all day in producing results if the time permitted, paralysis by analysis!  In order to make this a factual hard hitting article we looked carefully at what the community really need  to see as timescales ran against us in providing you with more information.  Therefore we chose the following to highlight just how good the new complete architecture really is in all arenas.  In order to expedite the proceedings, all tests shown within are at their primary display default settings.  System left at default with the only exception of bios intrusion was to manually adjust the memory settings from 1333MHz to 2133MHz to obtain the full potential of Crucial’s new memory modules.

Over the last few days we had into place Crucial Ballistix Active Cooling Fan for memory modules.  We have already covered it within our news page.  Therefore in order to see just how effective it is, we ran our new Sandy Bridge configured system in its Multimedia mode for 3 hours at the time and screenshot the results at the end of the run.

The figures speak very clearly for themselves and it goes to show that this one piece of equipment can very dramatically reduce the temperatures over the DIMMS.    8C to 10C is a huge temperature reduction over the DIMMS whilst at work.  Therefore a point of note when spending huge sums of monies on such expensive DIMMS for an extra £20.00 you can save your DIMMS lifespan that little bit longer.

Benchmarks and Software Used 64-bit Mode

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
SiSoftware Sandra 2011 (Latest Build)
POV-Ray for Windows v3.7 RC1 (64-bit)
PCMark 2005
PCMark Vantage
3DMark 2011
Furmark Build 1.8.2
Unigine Heaven Benchmark Ver. 2.1
Cinebench 10 64-bit
Cinebench 11.5 64-bit
Bentley MicroStation
Redway Turbine Benchmark
SPECapcSM for Maya 2009
SPECapc for SolidWorks 2007™
SPECviewperf® 11.0 64-bit

Each set of tests has been applied on the clean system hard drives shown above to ensure that no residue drivers were left installed with all updates/patches applied. A test/render has been completed many times over different periods of the system uptime. Whilst maintaining the fair play rules of SPEC® HyperThreading and Turbo Boost have been enabled. Tests have been conducted in accordance with the resolutions detailed above @ 59Hz / 60Hz in 32 bit colour. Results that have been shown within this article are from the application/benchmarks first run in accordance with the SPECviewperf® and SPECapc™ fair play rules. Not an average of 3 runs as some seem prudent to think that this is correct.

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