Econobox Benchmarks?

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Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:17 am

I'm in sore need of a replacement for my current 'main' personal/gaming computer. To my great shame, I've been relying on a MacBook Pro since summer of 2009, and my total inability to play most games released in the past two or three years is finally wearing me down. My budget is fairly slim this days, so I'm looking at the Econobox (or a slight variation on it, as not all of the recommended components are easily available here in Germany, and we don't have a very good Newegg equivalent).

My question is: what kind of performance can I expect out of the Econobox from the Christmas 2013 guides? Beyond the super-technical benchmark information, I really just want to know more practical stuff, like "what kind of fps/performance settings can I expect from recent AAA games?" Right now I've got some slightly older stuff from last year on my radar (Bioshock Infinite, Saints Row 4, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag), and some recent/upcoming MMOs (WildStar, Planetside 2, MWO specifically). There's plenty of older stuff like Skyrim that I still haven't gotten around to, but I mean that game came out in 2011, so I seriously doubt the Econobox would have a problem running that at 60fps.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:43 am

SA_Drone wrote:I'm in sore need of a replacement for my current 'main' personal/gaming computer. To my great shame, I've been relying on a MacBook Pro since summer of 2009, and my total inability to play most games released in the past two or three years is finally wearing me down. My budget is fairly slim this days, so I'm looking at the Econobox (or a slight variation on it, as not all of the recommended components are easily available here in Germany, and we don't have a very good Newegg equivalent).

My question is: what kind of performance can I expect out of the Econobox from the Christmas 2013 guides? Beyond the super-technical benchmark information, I really just want to know more practical stuff, like "what kind of fps/performance settings can I expect from recent AAA games?" Right now I've got some slightly older stuff from last year on my radar (Bioshock Infinite, Saints Row 4, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag), and some recent/upcoming MMOs (WildStar, Planetside 2, MWO specifically). There's plenty of older stuff like Skyrim that I still haven't gotten around to, but I mean that game came out in 2011, so I seriously doubt the Econobox would have a problem running that at 60fps.


You would run in to trouble running Skyrim with texture mods probably. The R9 270 (which is recommended in the alternatives of Econobox) is a fairly decent card for 1080P, although not enough to push every eye candy.

Expect to play most current games with high settings (in the case of Bioshock, Assassin's Creed), some older titles you can go full settings.
I would expect you to be able to play a game like Battlefield 4 with high settings and keep close to 60fps. Ultra settings will require a lot more graphical power.
You have a review of this card right here: http://techreport.com/review/25642/amd-radeon-r9-270-graphics-card-reviewed

If your budget is tight, I recommend you to save a bit on the CPU and keep the i3-4130, it is enough capable. If you can add up an Samsung EVO 128Gb it would give you a total different experience in terms of responsiveness.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:50 am

The econobox is fine.
I can get similar gaming experience from a 7790 (R7 260X) and an old processor as I do from a 4.5GHz i5-2500K and two 7970 cards.

The difference? One runs at 2560x1440 Ultra settings at 60fps, the other runs at 1080p or sometimes even 720p if it means I can get super-fluid graphics.
As bad as 720p sounds, the advances in AA and optimisation for console gaming at 720p means that it usually works very well.

A good game is still good, even if the graphics are only on medium.
A bad game is still bad, no matter how pretty the graphics are.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:54 am

Suffice to say that you will be able to run most games at 1080p, Medium-High Detail, and 50+ fps with anything between a 7790 (R7 260X), 650 Ti Boost, to an R7 270.

(click the links, they point to TR articles for your reference)
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:01 am

Hate to perform some thread necromancy, but I still have a couple questions:

I'm bouncing back and forth between the Econobox and the Sweet Spot right now, weighing my options. Unfortunately it seems like the R9 270 and R9 270X have shot up in price since the Christmas guide was published. Are they still going to be the go-to option, or is there something with equal capabilities for the previous price?

Judging from past guides, it looks like TR comes out with their Spring system guide sometime in March/April. If I'm not going to wait that long, what are the major differences between the Christmas and Spring recommendations (for both Econobox and Sweet Spot) likely to be?
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:03 am

SA_Drone wrote:Unfortunately it seems like the R9 270 and R9 270X have shot up in price since the Christmas guide was published. Are they still going to be the go-to option, or is there something with equal capabilities for the previous price?


All of the high end AMD cards are insanely overpriced because of the boom in Bitcoin alternatives. Unless you're really intent on going with AMD, Nvidia is your best bet for any upper mid range or high end card right now.

The R9 270(X) is the same chip as the old 7870 (the X version is clocked a bit higher and uses more power than the non-X version), which was right in between the Nvidia GTX 660 and the 660 Ti in terms of performance. The 660 Ti has been replaced by the GTX 760, which has similar performance. Looking at pcpartpicker.com, I see the 660 starting at $175, the 660 Ti starting at $225 and the 760 staring at $240. You'll have to figure out what you can get them for in your part of the planet, but those are the closest alternatives to the R9 270 & 270X.


SA_Drone wrote:Judging from past guides, it looks like TR comes out with their Spring system guide sometime in March/April. If I'm not going to wait that long, what are the major differences between the Christmas and Spring recommendations (for both Econobox and Sweet Spot) likely to be?


Assuming no new cards are released, and the xxxxcoin rush is still keeping AMD prices high, I'm guessing the Econobox will sport an R7 260X or the R7 265, with the GTX 750 Ti or the GTX 660 as alternatives. (the R7 260X is a slightly faster clocked 7790 for $110-$120; the R7 265 is the same as the old 7850 for $150; the 750 Ti is based on Nvidia's new Maxwell architecture, and is slightly faster than a 650 Ti while drawing just over half the power, it's $150).

The pick for the Sweet Spot will probably be the 760 (I think the 660 Ti is EOL, so it could be hard to find in a few months).
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:17 am

Melvar wrote:All of the high end AMD cards are insanely overpriced because of the boom in Bitcoin alternatives. Unless you're really intent on going with AMD, Nvidia is your best bet for any upper mid range or high end card right now.


Only in USA, SA_Drone is from Germany, I gues they have been unafected by this madness. If not, feel free to visit czech e-shops, stocks of R9 280X and higher are somewhat low and waiting times high, but prices are fair. (280x cheaper than 770 and 290 cheaper than 780)
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:57 am

What's the tangible difference going to be between the R9 270X 2GB vs. 4GB? I ask because a local brick-and-mortar computer store near me (whom I trust, since I've seen them do service before) is offering what is basically the Econobox for roughly the same price, the only difference is they're using a 2GB 270X instead of 4GB. I'm reading the TR reviews of the 270X and nowhere is it really mentioned if it's the 2GB or 4GB version. I assume, as with most things, the bigger number is the better one.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:49 pm

Not really. The extra memory could come in handy if you wanted to play at 4K resolutions but isn't needed at HD res. Also consider that most people are playing at HD and under resolutions so it seems unlikely there will be a need for 4GB for GPUs for most people in the next few years.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:05 am

Thanks for that, I did a bit more research too and it seems like the 4GB at this point is really only for those who wish to take advantage of a dual-monitor setup (which I don't have any plans for at the moment). I might go the 2GB route then.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:26 am

SA_Drone wrote:Thanks for that, I did a bit more research too and it seems like the 4GB at this point is really only for those who wish to take advantage of a dual-monitor setup (which I don't have any plans for at the moment). I might go the 2GB route then.


I agree that you shouldn't get the 4GB. If you need 4GB of memory, you would also want a more powerful card.
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:20 am

man I feel dumb for getting my 290 for 600$ :(
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Re: Econobox Benchmarks?

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:22 am

Another option is to check the pricing on older Geforce GTX 660 or 660Ti.

The 750Ti is the new shiny thing on the block but the old GTX660 is in the same performance ballpark for $100 less, thanks to the cryptocurrency boffs pushing demand up for AMD cards right now.
You could probably find a GTX760 for the same money as an R9 270X at the moment, and that's a much more powerful class of card altogether.

This is useful tool, something I wish TR had but I guess the constant driver updates to improve 99th percentile performance would make a mess of the results and also consume way too much time to produce.
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