High Performance Computing Motherboards

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Intel's split platform strategy continues for the desktop with LGA 2011 and LGA 1155

An exotic PC with £3, 000 worth of top-end components took on a gaming-focused £300 system and a quartet of keen gamers couldn't tell the difference. Sobering stuff, but actually very good news for those of us living in the real world and subject to financial realities.

SSDBuilding a PC on a limited budget is the reality for most. The thing is, our gaming PC comparison was all about subjective performance. That means broader system performance was only tangentially part of the mix. Even more importantly, it means outright performance wasn't a factor.

X79 CloseupThat fact matters because while the two rigs often served up a similar experience, the benchmark results showed that the high-end system pumped more than twice the number of frames per second. Objectively, by the benchmark numbers, it was miles faster.

That's precisely the sentiment we're taking into this much broader look at high performance computing. Without question, outright performance matters when it comes to the sort of heavy duty number crunching involved in video encoding, image rendering and full on multi-tasking. With gaming, there's arguably a cut-off point at around 60 frames per second on average. Anything above that is probably performance wasted - you won't be able to see or feel a difference.

Not so for something like video encoding. The faster an encode job completes, the sooner you can watch the video or start the next encode project. Similarly, if you've a limited amount of time available, the more performance your PC has to offer, the better the quality of encode it can execute.

Theoretically, there's no limit to the additional benefit brought by more performance. However, that doesn't mean you should simply go out and spend the absolute maximum.

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