The new benchmarking platform will – for now – strictly be used in high-end GPU benchmarking. For the time being, we're planning on reserving the 4790K bench for most GPU benchmarks; the exception would be high-end SLI and CrossFire, which demand more lanes and could be limited by the 4790K's processing output. This will all be tested internally to determine at which point the CPU begins to bottleneck our GPUs. We'll likely publish some of those results as they roll in.
We've purchased an EVGA X99 Classified board out-of-pocket for use in the X99 sample, with provision of the i7-5930K from iBUYPOWER and provision of DDR4 test memory from multiple manufacturers. We're starting with Kingston Predator memory, but will be using this system to benchmark DDR4 from other manufacturers in the near future. An Enermax EMR1500EWT will be used for the PSU. 1500W is a lot of power – too much, really – but will ensure we've got room to play without concern of wattage limitations. The rest is sort of TBD; we've got a lot of hardware in the lab, so most likely, I'll just grab something that feels right and throw it on the bench.
As an aside – and there'll be another post about this later – we've also secure an “old” i7-4960X for our rendering rig. This will be utilized in video rendering for the YouTube channel, and is expected to produce nearly 2x the Premiere Pro render performance. The performance boost improves our efficiency and allows faster video creation, but will likely be diverted into post processing FX for better color correction.
The Fury – where is it? We recently reviewed AMD's 300 series of graphics cards with the R9 380 and R9 390 review. The review was honest: AMD has driver problems and, while they are an improvement, the price of the cards makes them tough to justify. The R9 290X has been on and off sale lately, with frequent drops to ~$270 or thereabouts; at that price, it's a significantly better value buy than the R9 390. Following this review, we were unable to secure sampling for the Fury line of AMD video cards through direct channels. AMD has not responded to sample requests and, quite fairly, board partners were already booked-up on sending out their devices.
Thankfully, we managed to secure a couple of Fury X video cards through third-party channel and will be performing some of the web's only CrossFire tests within the next few days. Our Fury X benchmark will be well under way by the weekend. Final publication is TBD, but we'll keep everyone posted, as always.
- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.