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Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $650 Gaming PC

F1 2012

F1 2012 is going to hurt this quarter's PC when it comes time to average our gaming frame rates. It remains CPU-bound, even through the Ultra detail preset with 8X MSAA. That's not really a problem for us though, since the minimum performance level remains above 60 FPS through 1920x1080. In fact, using Ultra details with 8x MSAA, the stock $650 PC averages over 60 FPS at 4800x900, too.

Far Cry 3

At Far Cry 3’s high-quality settings, the Core i3-3220 processor constrains the performance we're able to achieve. It's unable to keep up with the overclocked Core i5s we're using to compare. Again, though, we're not worried. The Core i3 still allowed this quarter's machine to deliver a smooth high-resolution experience. At 4800x900, minimum frame rates remain above 35 FPS in stock trim, jumping to 40 FPS once we overclock. 

Some play time proved to me that this mild GPU overclock was all I needed for a solid 1920x1080 Far Cry 3 gaming experience, meaning I didn't need to further push higher clocks and deal with more heat or noise. Even in this demanding part of the game, frame rates reported by Fraps never dipped below 32, and the game was smooth enough for me. The stock $650 PC and overclocked $600 PC both fare well at 1920x1080, but only after dropping anti-aliasing to 2x MSAA.

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