Based on average performance, today's $650 gaming PC is unable to match last quarter’s configuration. The most natural conclusion to draw is that the extra computing resources and limited overclocking available on a Core i5 help overcome CPU bottlenecks encountered by Core i3 at the lowest quality settings we use for benchmarking.
Likewise, a frame rate cap in F1 2012 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim prevents my current build from matching Don's prior $800 effort or even my older $600 system, overclocked.
It's more important, however, that only the overclocked $650 and $800 configurations maintain playable frame rates at 1920x1080 in our four-game test suite without the need to drop quality levels.
- Colliding Interests Shape Our Mini-ITX Effort
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Just Enough Overclocking To Game...
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Gaming Performance Summary
- Can We Really Call This Better For Gaming?