Test Bench – Getting back to work

pcfoo_card_dumpSince my main s2011 rig went under water with a full WC loop, it became increasingly difficult for me to add and remove GPUs for testing. I had a stockpile of GPUs waiting, and no will to mess with that loop over and over.
The solution? A dedicated “FooBench” for me to have access to those PCIe slots!

For the new rig I’ve decided to go with something more modern: since Haswell hex and octa cores are at least a few months down the pipe – probably a year for supply to settle a bit DDR4 prices etc, a 4770K based platform will give representative performance for quite some time.

To make sure of the above, as I did with the 3930K before it, the tests would be run using a decent overclock, to make sure that CPU bottlenecks – if any – would be kept to a minimum, for GPUs to spread their wings as far as they can.

The single thread performance of a Haswell i7 overclocked to 4.5GHz should be relative to the performance accessible for most end-users for at least a couple of years from now. More specifically, the new test system components are:

FooBench Configuration

Processor  Intel i7-4770K Quad Core 3.5GHz 
4 Cores, 8 Threads @ 4.5GHz (45×100)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H
Cooling  Thermalright Silver Arrow
Power Supply  Rosewill Capstone 550W
Memory  4*4GB Samsung Green 30nm
Memory Settings DDR3 – 2133 / 10-11-11-31 @ 1.6V
System Drive  Crucial M4 256GB SATA III
Case Open Test Bench
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit SP1

As you can see there is nothing really “special” about it, keeping the cost to a minimum without compromising performance and recycling existing components like the CPU cooler and the SSD were the major drivers.

The SPECviewperf® 11 – GPU Scores page was updated with scores using the above configuration and three Firepro cards were added to the mix, along with the new SPECviewperf® 12 – GPU Scores  page. More to come!

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