WE’RE ALL FOR tools that help people pick suitable parts for their next system build, especially these days as it can be hard to figure out what bits goes with what. Futuremark has just launched a new tool in partnership with Gigabyte called the Gigabyte System Builder. Okay, so you only have the choice of Gigabyte motherboards and graphics cards, but that’s fair enough, as this is a business partnership and monies have been exchanged at one time or another to get this up and running.
The whole thing is based around two main options, Price and Performance. Either you select a price range that suits your budget, or, oddly enough, a performance category based on 3DMark points, although the site doesn’t mention which version of 3DMark was used. Out pop a few selections, as in motherboard, processor and graphics card. You also get an overall performance indicator, the 3DMark score for the specific setup and a total MSRP price.
You’re also given options to upgrade any of the three components as you see fit. However, you have to either select a new price range or a higher or lower performance section to move between CPU sockets, which can be a bit frustrating. This is all good and well and works as intended and you can even select dual GPU configurations, although for some reason this even works with a motherboard that doesn’t allow for multiple GPU’s, which is a bit of a miss.
There’s also a selection of popular games along the bottom of the screen as well as Windows 7 and of course 3DMark Vantage – a little self promotion never hurts. The system builder is based on the assumption that the final PC will be kitted out with at least 2GB of RAM and a 200GB hard drive. However, there’s one big fat flaw that we’re a bit perplexed by and that is that you can only chose Intel CPUs and matching motherboards.
Since when was Intel the only processor manufacturer out there? The list of graphics card includes both AMD and Nvidia, but all of the processors and motherboards are Intel only. Now we don’t know if Intel has somehow added some coin to this otherwise admirable effort to help end users chose the right setup for their money, but it’s a bit hard to overlook the fact that they don’t always get the best options that their money can buy.
We’ve seen a fair share of companies pull similar things in the past, but it’s sad to see Futuremark going down this route along with Gigabyte. A tool like this will never gain popularity as long as it favors just one of the two major processor manufacturers. We can always hope that this is just a first release and that there wasn’t enough time to add all of Gigabyte’s AMD products to it before it went live, but this is just making up excuses which we really don’t have to be doing.S|A
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