Application and Futuremark Performance

What we're essentially trying to gauge here is how an Ivy Bridge processor with reduced overclocking headroom compares to a Sandy Bridge chip with lower IPC and higher clocks. In the process, we can also see how both of them compare to chips with lower IPC and extra cores (specifically Gulftown and Sandy Bridge-E).

Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Out of the gate the PCMarks are both responding well, but I suspect that may also be due to the Intel SSD employed in this Erebus GT. It may still be using SandForce's controller, but it's Intel's firmware. Whatever the case, for general use the new Erebus GT screams through PCMarks, delivering a 7% increase in PCMark 7 and 12% in Vantage compared to the previous model.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

Looking at the CPU-dependent benchmarks may or may not be troubling, depending on your perspective. From the looks of things, Ivy Bridge's improved IPC is almost entirely mitigated by its reduced overclocking headroom. The IVB Erebus GT is a scant 2% faster in most of our CPU tests, with the SNB variant actually taking a slight 1% lead in Cinebench 11.5. What's interesting is that on the CPU side, even overclocking and increased IPC still doesn't bridge the gap between Intel's quad cores and their hexacores; the i7-990X still runs wild in any task that can take advantage of the extra cores.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

What can we take away from the 3DMark results? 3DMark06 is always going to be CPU-limited (and probably should be deprecated at this point), but in 3DMark Vantage's older workload we see a pair of GTX 680s essentially equaling the performance of two GTX 590s. That's two current generation GPUs hitting stride with four of last generation's. When you get to 3DMark11, the GTX 680s just run away with it. This is important, remember it, because it's going to come up again when we get to power consumption.

Re-Introducing the iBuyPower Erebus GT Gaming Performance
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  • Ryan Smith - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

  • randinspace - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    What impresses me the most about the system is that iBUYPOWER is actually able to obtain not one, but TWO WHOLE 680s... oh wait a minute tigerdirect has a PNY model at least listed as in stock right now, so I guess anything's possible.
  • Nickel020 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I'm quite disappointed that you pretty much only reviewed performance. The review would have been much better (and up to the Anandtech standard), if you wrote more about the build, the cooling system/noise, the value of the system and support (options). Those are also very important for the purchasing decision, yet you leave many questions open here.

    Please provide full information on the build/ the components of the system. What are the components of the watercooling loop? In the other Erebus GT review you talk about the case being based on a NZXT case - why leave that information out here? Also: Please provide more/better pictures! If there were more pictures, I could identify the full watercooling the system. Surely you have someone on staff at AT who could do the same and provide information on whether this is a good setup or not. (One thing they did wrong is to connect the GPUs in series, parallel would have been better in this configuration).

    More on noise (incl. measurements & a subjective comparison) would be very nice. You mention it has a fan controller, but make no mention of how it works, and how the system compares to an air cooled high-end system (because at stock settings that's what you're getting the watercooling for: it's more powerful and thus potentially quieter than air - but is it quieter here?). What fans are used, and what is the minimum RPM you can set them to, and is that setting still able to cool the system under full load?

    I can understand that you don't know the price yet, but you should still talk about value. Since pretty much all of these parts are retail parts, I would like to see a listing how much it would cost to buy them and assemble the system yourself. How much extra has iBUYPOWER charged in the past over component price? What service/warranty do you get for that?
  • ggathagan - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    This is a review of a complete system.

    If you want to compare it to DIY, that's *your* job to find out the components.
    Call or email IBUYPOWER.
  • rickmoranisftw - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    i went to ibuypower to mess around with the customization, and i could not find the Z77 platform. Also, i could not find the liquid cooled 680 as an option on any of them. Is this something they are updating soon, or am i just completely missing something?
  • Denithor - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    What benchmark/software do you run to max out power consumption for the load testing? I'm curious because to be valid it would have to be something that maxes both CPU and GPU, otherwise you aren't getting a true load value.
  • Folterknecht - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    1,36 V for that 3770K max Voltage reported by HW-Monitor - which genius came up with these BIOS-Settings??? Even water cooled - that cant be good in the long run. Every review and forum discussion I read suggests that 4.4 GHz on Ivy is doable with 1,15 - 1,25 V and u start to get serious temp problems if you go above 1,25 V - even water cooled.
  • nemt - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I've never heard of someone having a good experience with ibuypower. Everyone I know who's purchased a prebuilt (or semi built) machine from them has regretted it almost immediately.

    The specs are nice, but I doubt the built quality is worth the eventual price of admission.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Based on my recommendation, a friend bought one of their systems two years back. It had better specs than Dell or other large OEMs, and the total price for the box was $800. He's been very pleased with the computer and hasn't had any hardware problems at all. It runs quiet and fast, though it's not like he actually pushes it that hard. So there you go: at least one story of someone that bought IBP and didn't regret it at all.
  • gmallen - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Our two iBuypower machines have good build quality, all brand-name parts and worked out of the box. Almost two failure-free years later, we are ramping up to buy two more, using the old machines as a media server and an NAS. So, ignore troll and check iBuypower forums for real comments by actual owners.

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