i just want to congratulate you for the review. it's very informative. i believe that there are some small improvements to be made. i think a small psu would me more appropriate for power usage when testing systems that idle at less then 100w. i know for sure that psus are not that efficent at less than 10% load. that crazy ass 1100w psu is definetly not frugal.
also powerfull video cards are not that ecofriendly these days as well as the 10k raptor hdd. it would be nice to see some config that is actually built for power efficency. i don't use my pc for gaming, but i use it with sql server and visual studio and i care how much power it uses in idle and how quiet it is. in conclusion i care about how fast my pc is but i also care about how efficient it is.
Thanks for the feedback! It's tough to pick components for the test bench and since we have used this test system for a couple years it has actually done pretty well. If we go too small of a power supply it might not support all platforms and setups, so it's always better to go bigger from a testing point of view.
I'm getting ready to re-do the test systems and make the switch to Windows 7 right now. I just ordered in new games like Wolfenstein, Resident Evil 5, Batman AA, H.A.W.X. and more to give our reviews a little more meaning.
I'm also going to be moving to a new test suite Old Benchmark Version - > New Benchmark Version
POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 25 -> POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 34
Sony Vegas Pro 8.0b -> Sony Vegas Pro 9.0b
3dmark06 -> 3dmark Vantage
ProShow Gold 3.2 -> ProShow Gold 4.0.2549
I'm also thinking about adding some new benchmarks...
maybe some MKV to AVI video conversion using SUPER v2009.build.36
Kribibench Version 1.1
Microsoft ICE 64
The Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE) 64bit is an application used to stitch multiple source images into a seamless panorama image. I just tried using it the other day for the first time and really like it. I took a bunch of pictures in Oakland California last week and used the application to stitch together a killer image you can crop out and use.
The final cropped image is 4362x650 and it looks slick... The image spans 198.4 degrees horizontally and 64.2 vertically. I think applications like this are something more real world to test CPU's and the applications are free and useful.