Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Dave weighs in on the merits of his competitor's machine
If only Maximum PC put a lot of stock in aesthetics, Gordon’s machine might earn a more favorable review. But, alas, we’re all about performance when it comes to PCs. And Gordon’s rig functions just a tad better than a graphing calculator on the ol’ benchmarks.
Strangely, Gordon opted not to overclock his machine in the slightest, which comes as a wonder considering the unholy combination of his slowest parts, a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo and a horrific 8500 Nvidia card. How bad does it get? If you want to turn FEAR into a turn-based 12fps first-person shooter, then by all means, follow Gordon’s lead. Quake doesn’t fare much better, offering a paltry 19fps.
The real deal-breakers for Gordon’s “rig” are the workhorse CPU benchmarks—our Premiere and Nero tests. In the time it took to run both benchmarks, I could have cooked and eaten two frozen pizzas, consecutively. I could have watched a single episode of 24. I even could have taken a nap. I suppose the machine earns points for finishing the tests within the span of an eight-hour workday; I had my doubts, but that’s hardly a consolation for this horrifically slow machine.
I’ll be the first to say that a crap machine is a crap machine. But Gordon could have at least made a passing attempt to pull as much performance as possible out of his little computer that couldn’t. He didn’t, instead opting to throw this poor PC to the wolves. I suppose we’ll never know how fast Gordon’s beyond-lean machine could have been.
Tell us what you really think of this PC, Gordon
Think of the most incredible, luxurious, badass system that you have ever seen. Now think of the polar opposite and then jog another 200 yards past that and you get the Dave Murphy $500 Hobo Special. Straight out of Bum Junction and perfectly suited for hopping a hot-shot Santa Fe train, the only thing this cardboard wonder lacks is the manual bundled up on the end of Dave’s bindle.
First, there’s no power or reset switch. Hell, there’s no frigging front panel. To power up this abomination, you have to panhandle a dime so you can short the power switch jumpers and boot the ugly bastard. But be careful you don’t jiggle the GeForce 7600 GS or you may blow up the whole contraption. In fact, don’t touch it at all, lest the cardboard box burst into flames.
While the Hobo Special has the same HD, amount of RAM, and CPU as my $500 beauty, it lacks upgrade options. Where are the empty RAM slots to go beyond 1GB of memory? Where are the DirectX 10 graphics? What about CrossFire or SLI support? And a VIA chipset versus my Intel P965?! Pee on you, mister.
Its benchmarks are nothing to brag about either. We wouldn’t boast about these scores to that crazy old guy who keeps talking about how awesome the Amiga was. It’s best to just skulk away and live in a Unabomber-style shed for the next 12 years. What’s incredible, however, is the fact that a $500 hobo playpen is nearly as fast as our once state-of-the-art Athlon 64 FX-60 box. How the mighty have fallen.
Despite what Murphy might say, the only area in which his “rig” bests my PC is gaming. Of course, even his “winning” scores don’t really represent playable frame rates here. And when DX10 catches on, that piddly frame-rate advantage drops to zero, rookie.
|Zero-Point Scores||Gordon's Budget Box||Dave's Low-cost Creation|
|Premiere Pro 2.0||3,000 sec||3,000 sec||3,024 sec|
|Photoshop CS2||295 sec||319.3 sec||324 sec|
|Recode H.264||2,648 sec||3,173 sec||3,212 sec|
|FEAR 1.07||80 fps||12 fps||19 fps|
|Quake 4||110.5||19 fps||23 fps|
|Best budget scores are bolded. Our current desktop test bed is a Windows XP SP2 machine, using a dual-core 2.6GHz Athlon 64 FX-60, 2GB of Corsair DDR400 RAM on an Asus A8N32-SLI motherboard, two GeForce 7900 GTX videocards in SLI mode, a Western Digital 4000KD hard drive, a Sound Blaster X-Fi soundcard, and a PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool 850 PSU.|