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Best of the best: 10 top high-performance computing upgrades on test

Bench analysis: Making sense of an awful lot of numbers

This is all rather different to our traditional, gaming-centric set of benchmarks, and shows the productivity prowess of the real top-end platforms on the market. The eight-core Intel Xeon dropped into a desktop X79 board, like the excellent Gigabyte X79-UD3, makes for the most powerful desktop solution around.

For any video encoding, database-crunching or image manipulation tasks you can't get quicker. That said the cheaper 3960X does a good job of getting close and the AMD FX 8150 actually takes the lead in our Photoshop tests. You can put together a decently priced AMD workstation, but the top-end Xeon-powered beast will cost you.

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