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Game Benchmarks: First-Person Shooters

System Builder Marathon, Sept. '09: $1,250 Enthusiast Build

At high settings, the Core i7 PC is making a compelling show at the lower resolutions (where processing performance makes a bigger difference). But when we look at higher-resolution performance, the Phenom II becomes much more attractive, thanks to its powerful CrossFire graphics setup.

Let's see what happens when we up the detail to the Very High detail setting:

Look how the AMD system overtakes the Core i7 system at 1920x1200. What we're seeing here is the bottleneck getting shifted towards the graphics cards, and the four Radeon HD 4850s in this month's AMD system are coming into play. This is especially compelling when you consider that this system would be built with game performance in mind and would likely be paired with a nice 24" display. Remember also that Crysis has an affinity for the GeForce architecture, so even without a level playing field, AMD is coming up with a win here.

It is a real shame we don't have 2560x1600 results for the April 2009 system, as I suspect the new AMD box and its four Radeon HD 4850s would really come into their own at that resolution.

Now let's have a look at Far Cry 2...

Once AA is turned on, the AMD system starts showing more gains. I'll admit it's a marginal win, but it's a win nonetheless. This unconventional AMD system is showing that it's quite capable of high-resolution and high-detail gaming.

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