18 Months Later: Origin's Genesis Desktop Revisited

Article Index

Test Systems, Cinebench 11.5, 3DMark 11

We've almost entirely stuck to game tests because they're the most likely candidates for demonstrating whether or not the system has held its value. The Origin Genesis' CPU was comparatively cheap when the system shipped—a customer interested in highest-end CPU performance would've opted for an overclocked Core i7-980X rather than the budget-minded i7-920. The quad-GPU Radeon 5970s, on the other hand, were $1400 worth of video cards--easily the system's most-expensive components.

We've kept Cinebench R11.5 as our exception. While it only tests 3D rendering, it isolates CPU performance from the more system-centric tests like PCMark Vantage / PCMark 7, both of which can be significantly effected by SSD speeds.

We've compared against the Maingear Shift (when available), the Digital Storm Enix we reviewed a few months back, and we've borrowed numbers on the Radeon 6990. These tests are run on a Core i7 980X and are therefore reasonably comparable to our other included test results.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Performance Comparisons

Digital Storm Enix
Intel Core i7 2600K@4.7GHz
Asus P8P67M Pro
6GB Corsair DDR3-1333
2x GeForce GTX 580 SLI
1x 128GB Corsair P3Series
Win 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $ 3355.00 USD

Origin Genesis
Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.8GHz
EVGA X58 SLI Classified
6GB Corsair DDR3-1600
2x ATI Radeon 5970 Crossfire
2TB WD Caviar Black RAID 0
Win 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $4,999 USD
Intel Core I7-980X @4.2GHz
Asus P6X58D
6GB Kingston DDR3-1600 RAM
2x GeForce GTX 480 SLI
1x Crucial C300 SSD
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $ 5740.00 USD


Cinebench R11.5 x64
Rendering Performance

Cinebench 11.5 is the latest update to Maxon's 3D rendering benchmark suite and the third major iteration of the Cinebench series. As with R10, CB11.5 includes a single-threaded, multi-threaded, and OpenGL test. We've focused on the first two tests as part of our processor comparison; the OpenGL test is a GPU-specific benchmark and is meant to represent professional graphics performance.

Results like these show how CPU performance has evolved in just the past 18 months. The Shift's Westmere processor wasn't all that much faster than the Genesis' chip in single-threaded workloads; the major difference between the two came courtesy of the Maingear system's additional CPU cores. The Enix, by comparison, is just a quad-core--but it's significantly faster in single-threaded rendering performance.

This is, however, a bit of a best-case scenario for Sandy Bridge as compared to the original Nehalem architecture--and the Enix is clocked some eight percent faster.

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Synthetic DirectX 11 Gaming

3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

The 18-month old Radeon HD 5970s acquitted themselves quite well in 3DMark 11's Extreme test. One of the hallmarks of ATI's Cayman architecture is its improved tessellation--here, we see evidence that the quad-GPU 5970 configuration is an Alexandrian solution to the Gordian Knot that was the 5000-series tessellation performance. Granted, the 6990 is more efficient (two GPUs vs. four) and the Enix's dual GTX 580s take top ranking--but for two cards 18 months old, the results--16 percent off the GTX 580s--are solid.

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