Gaming Performance

Given what we've seen on the last page of the pair of GeForce GTX 680's in the iBUYPOWER Erebus GT, it's reasonable to assume we'll see them pretty much at the top of every chart. Thankfully we're starting to accumulate a decent amount of data to draw comparisons from with our new gaming suite.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

Civilization V

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

Bottom line, two GTX 680s is essentially excessive for 1080p. That's to be expected, but I was so stunned by the performance in Battlefield 3 that I actually had to double-check my results. Battlefield 3 has been fairly punishing on most of the systems I've tested, but the GTX 680s just brush it off. In other titles, we clearly hit CPU limits before the GPUs can reach their stride—Civilization V, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Total War: Shogun 2 are clearly CPU limited at this point, and Portal 2 is only somewhat less so.

At the same time, everything isn't quite sunny for SLI right now. Since the GTX 680 is fairly new, each driver release from NVIDIA is going to become that much more important. The 301.10 drivers, for example, weren't entirely stable compared to the 301.24 betas, which could run DiRT 3 in surround without issue. I also had trouble actually configuring surround in the first place on the 301.10s, problems that didn't resurface in the 301.24s. The 301.10s also produced substantially lower SLI performance in Portal 2 (still 130+ fps) than the 301.24s.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

I'm sure it surprises no one that the pair of GTX 680s is able to provide playable experiences across every game at our highest resolution and settings. Battlefield 3 does bring the hammer down, though; triple the resolution and the performance is sliced pretty linearly down to about a third of what it was. If you want to run at surround resolutions with anti-aliasing enabled, though, the GTX 680s can do it. Interestingly, Skyrim is still apparently hitting CPU bottlenecks even at 5760x1200.

Application and Futuremark Performance An Update on Build, and Power Consumption
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  • Ryan Smith - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Soon. Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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? Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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. Reply

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