Xotic PC Executioner Stage 4 Gaming PC Review

Test Setup, PCMark 8, & Cinebench

How We Configured Our Test Systems:  We configured other reference test systems in this article on an EVGA X79 Dark motherboard powered by an Intel Core i7-4960X six-core processor and 16GB of Corsair DDR3-1866 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" default settings and disable any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's X.M.P. profile was enabled to ensure better-than-stock performance and the solid state drive was then formatted and Windows 8.1 Professional x64 was installed. When the installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist along with all of the drivers, games, and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

Xotic PC's Executioner Stage 4 system was tested in an "as delivered" configuration, with the only modification being a quick update to the latest NVIDIA WHQL drivers for the pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Superclocked graphics cards.  It was only in our overclocking test area that we modified any of the speeds and feeds of the system.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Haswell-E And Ivy-Bridge-E Powered

Gaming Tests Only - HH Test System:
Intel Core i7-4960X
(3.3GHz, Six-Core)
EVGA X79 Dark
(Intel X79 Express)

Radeon R9 290X
Radeon R7 295X2
GeForce GTX 980 x 2
GeForce GTX 970 (MSI and EVGA)
GeForce GTX 780 Ti x 2
GeForce GTX Titan x 2

16GB Corsair DDR3-1866
OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

All Tests - Xotic PC Executioner:
Intel Core i7-5960X
(3GHz, Eight-Core)
 Asus X99-Deluce
(Intel X99 Express)

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Superclocked x 2

16GB Corsair DDR4-2066
Intel 730 Series 480GB SSD
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Relevant Software:
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
DirectX April 2011 Redist
AMD Catalyst v14.30.1005 B2
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers v353.06

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark "Fire Strike"
Bioshock Infinite
Hitman: Absolution
Metro Last Light
Sleeping Dogs
PCMark 8
Cinebench R11.5

General Performance Testing Notes:  For our gaming tests in this review (arguably the most critical for many in our audience, since this product is geared specifically to gamers) we compare the Xotic PC Executioner Stage 4 to our database of reference graphics card scores that were taken on the testbed noted above. Though not a direct identical configuration comparison, HotHardware's reference graphics test system is burly 6-core Core i7 setup with 16GB of DDR3 memory and a fast SSD. GPU throughput will affect these game test results almost exclusively, but regardless, these numbers are for frame of reference only. The Xotic PC Executioner Stage 4 is configured with a very powerful dual graphics subsystem, and for game tests, we haven't compiled enough 4K resolution test data to draw direct comparison to competitive systems. This is why we chose to offer our graphics testbed for comparison, where we have 4K data available.

In a couple of CPU-centric, general purposes tests, we've compared the Executioner to other reference gaming PCs from various system integrators. Again, these are relative metrics to offer watermarks of performance levels in specific applications. Since we have direct A/B comparison data in these test conditions, we opted to compare the Executioner to these other high-end systems on the market.

PCMark 8
General System Performance

PCMark 8 v2 is the latest version in Futuremark’s series of popular PC benchmarking tools. It is designed to test the performance of all types of systems, from tablets to desktops. PCMark 8 offers five separate benchmark tests--plus battery life testing—to help consumers find the devices that offers the perfect combination of efficiency and performance for their particular use case. This latest version of the suite improves the Home, Creative and Work benchmarks with new tests using popular open source applications for image processing, video editing and spreadsheets. A wide variety of workloads have also been added to the Work benchmark to better reflect the way PCs are used in enterprise environments.

These tests can be run with our without OpenCL acceleration. We chose to run with OpenCL acceleration enabled to leverage all of the platforms’ CPU and GPU compute resources.

Xotic PC Executioner PCMark 8

Xotic PC's Executioner came out strong in PCMark 8, though it fell short of taking the top spot. The second place finish is due to the clockspeed discrepancy between the Executioner's Core i7-5960X and the Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon chip featured in the Bolt II. Even though the Core i7-5960X has a core advantage (eight cores versus four cores), it's clocked slower than the Core i7-4790K at 3GHz to 3.5GHz versus 4GHZ to 4.4GHz. Having dual graphics cards didn't matter here either, as the Work Accelerated and Home Accelerated tests are weighted towards CPU and storage performance.

Cinebench R11.5
Software Rendering On The CPU
Cinebench is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by 3D animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

Xotic PC Executioner Cinebench

The Executioner had an easier time vaulting to the top spot in Cinebench, a rather brutal benchmark takes into account both multi-threaded and single-threaded performance. In this case, the Executioner's eight cores and 16 threads gave it an advantage over the other systems and their respective processors, at least in multi-threaded performance. When looking at single-core results, the Executioner fell towards the lower end of the pack. In that way, Cinebench underscores the tradeoff you get with the Core i7-5960X, which is more cores and threads at the expense of top-end clockspeeds.

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