Application and Futuremark Performance

On the processor side, the Puget Systems Deluge we have on hand is undoubtedly the fastest system we've yet tested. That's a given: Sandy Bridge-E is the fastest desktop processor available, and Puget Systems overclocked it to a speedy 4.6GHz. That's higher than any i7-990X we've ever seen, and combined with the new platform and other enhancements (relative to Bloomfield/Gulftown and X58) that should give the Deluge a comfortable lead. And it does, for the most part.

Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

Generally speaking, the new X79 monster from Puget Systems takes the lead, but what's interesting is the comparison between the Deluge and the DigitalStorm Enix. The Enix is using a quad-core i7-2600K that's been overclocked to 4.7GHz, up 100MHz from the Deluge's i7-3960X's 4.6GHz. In places where SSD performance and graphics performance may also come into play, the Deluge actually has a hard time climbing to the top of the charts...which is where a $7,200 desktop really belongs. Still, particularly in heavily threaded workloads, Sandy Bridge-E can't be beat.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

3DMark06 gets by on the increased CPU power, but Vantage and 3DMark11 are happier with the quad-GPU configurations we've tested. That's to be expected, but performance is pretty excellent and in Vantage the Deluge is even able to just barely best AVADirect's i7-990X-based system with a pair of AMD Radeon HD 6990s. Let's see how things pan out with some actual gaming tests.

Introducing the Puget Systems Deluge Gaming Performance
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  • vanadiel - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I don't understand for the life of me why anyone would purchase a system like this for over $7K.
    While it's true that this system will ensure top notch gaming, so will a system that costs 5 times less.
    I benched my own system to compare the scores, and while I got beaten on every number, the beating was merely a little tap on the shoulder.
    If I would pay this much for a system I would expect it to crush and utterly demolish my current gaming system.
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    No one would actually buy a system like this unless they were technically PC illiterate. This is a system for posers with more money than knowledge.
  • vanadiel - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Maybe, but it's not much of a pose if you get beaten. A system like this has to have stellar performance or there's no point in purchasing it.
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    Which is exactly why no one but a poser would buy it. ;)
  • mariush - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Mass storage is handled by a Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB drive, and given the current shortages in the industry as a result of the Thailand flooding, you pay dearly for the privilege.

    Yeah, right. I'm sure the price of a 2 TB hard drive really matters in the total of 7500$ for this system system.
  • Catalina588 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I too was surprised by the high voltage used in the factory OC, as well as the permanent 1.4+ volt load on the processor. I don't see the benefits of that overclock. Here are two scenarios:

    1. Always at 100% CPU Utilization
    If you're running simulations constantly (e.g., Folding@Home), then the cooling limits of your setup will drive the possible OC. I set my Turbo to 43X BCLK 100 for a 4.3GHz boot on 6 cores. After 10 minutes, CPU-Z reports the core speed has dropped to the thermal stability point of my Intel HSC water-loop: 4.1 GHz at less than 80 degrees package temperature (via Core Temp) with a voltage of 1.104. Looks like it could run this way for a long time with no sweat.

    2. Occasional high-performance single threads
    Set the Turbo multiplier to 48X. Leave all the Intel SpeedStep technology enabled. If it boots, run your burn-in tests and you should be fine. If not, try a lower Turbo multiplier The processor will spool all 6 cores up to 48X briefly (seconds) or a couple of cores for long runs. If you're doing a long video transcode, you'll see the core speed decline from 48X as the TDP thermal limits are met and throttled back. With this method, most of the time you'll benefit from the energy savings running at lower voltage and lower core speeds at idle.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Not a very sophisticated overclock, if you rely on thermal throttling.

    Also, if your CPU throttles (but there is more overclock to be had) you might want to think about getting better cooling, because 1.1V and 4.1GHz seems quite conservative on moderate to good air cooling. Seems like you have bad to moderate cooling in your rig.

    My CPU (i7 860) is not limited by temperature (75°C @1.408V+4.05GHz) but by normal manufacturing errors. Even a small spike at 1.5V didn't result in better OC and gave me errors after a few minutes on LinX.

    Even if it was limited by temperature, I wouldn't let it just throttle, I'd tweak it to get the best non-throttle overclock.

    But there are enough good OC manuals out there. :D
  • jadawgis732 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I think the conclusion here smacks of real, independent speak, which is not something you find in spades in this day in age when every reviewer is just writing it as nicely as possible in order to keep in high standing with manufacturers. I love the "good citizen" line in the power section too. Just one mistake, on the conclusion page, after you finish ripping apart Puget's placement strategy and pricing scheme you say, "[...] having six cores, but it's not like anyone gamers have been crying that [...]" Anyway keep up the great work.
  • McFoozle - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    1. Intel Sandy Bridge-E is a bust. By the time it starts providing the necessary performance per dollar to make sense, Ivy Bridge will be out.

    2. This system doesn't even make sense for people with money to burn who don't have time to spend on building it themselves.

    3. Boutique systems builders obviously charge big money to build these things for you and they almost always do things that are weird, undesired and even downright inexplicable.
  • piroroadkill - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    I agree that Sandy Bridge-E is pointless for almost everyone.

    Also, the sort of person that would buy the best ULTRA EXXXXTREME edition processor would already have a Core i7-980x or 990x system, and would STILL have no reason to upgrade to this.

    Everyone's better off waiting for Ivy Bridge.

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