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Benchmark Results: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $500 PC

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 offers impressive visuals on modest graphics hardware, and even the stock $400 PC from September had no problem playing at 1080p resolution and the highest detail levels. The current system breezes through all resolutions with a glaringly obvious CPU limitation.

While many folks would find the former Radeon HD 5670 satisfactory, competitive gamers should appreciate the December rig’s ability to maintain 60+ frames per second, even with the added demands of 4x AA.


Crysis is more brutal, limiting the former PC to 720p at High details. Sporting far more powerful graphics hardware, the December box is playable at all resolutions, appearing CPU-limited below 1080p.

Note the 10% framerate increase achieved just by narrowing the aspect ratio from 16:9 (1280x720) to 5:4 (1280x1024). This could be of particular interest for a gamer experiencing borderline playability caused by a CPU limitation.

The overclocked Radeon HD 5770 used in the past could not muster playable performance at 1280x1024, so it’s no surprise the $400 rig’s HD 5670 was brought to it’s knees at Very High details.

Our stock December $500 gaming rig also struggles. But once it's overclocked, the machine surpasses our framerate requirements for playable performance at both lower resolutions. Average framerates even appear a bit CPU-limited. But the bottleneck quickly shifts to the GPU, surpassing the machine’s capabilities at 1680x1050 and above.

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