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In Fallout 3, we use FRAPS to benchmark a 60 second run through our “Capital Wasteland” saved game. For smoother combat sequences, we’ll again keep the target at 40 FPS in this action RPG. There was no problem cranking details to maximum, while also enabling 4x AA and 15x AF to further enhance the gaming experience.
Little CPU scaling is seen here, compared to the broader performance range of the Intel processors tested in Part 1. Nevertheless, all of these Phenom II processors basically breeze through Fallout 3. The Radeon HD 4850 is far outclassed by all the other cards, but still manages to deliver playable performance with minimum framerates of 41-43 fps.
The cheapest Phenom II X2 550 BE/Radeon HD 4850 combination is still capable of dishing out playable performance at this highly affordable 20-22” widescreen LCD resolution. Minimum framerates even remain above 30 FPS with each of the three processors.
Again, our cheapest Dragon platform delivers playable performance, even when pushing a 24” LCD resolution. Minimum frame rates now drop to 29-30 FPS, so gamers who demand smoother performance may want to step up to the more powerful GeForce GTX 260.
At 2560x1600, the dual-GPU cards start to pull away from the others. The 512MB Radeon HD 4850 is now reduced to unplayable performance, but the GeForce GTX 260 is able to reach the target and provide 28 minimum FPS with each processor. For just a bit more money, the Radeon HD 4890 manages about six frames higher in both minimum and average fps.