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Benchmark Results: F1 2010 And Metro 2033

System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $650 Gaming PC

F1 2010

Although it leads the Core i3-2120 in this quarter's build, December's Core i5-2400 is the most glaring bottleneck at these settings.

At Ultra detail settings with 8x MSAA applied, this quarter's PC suffers a processor bottleneck at lower resolutions. More important, though, is that even in stock form, it matches its overclocked predecessor once we test at our screen's native resolution. Any one of these configurations is fully capable of a smooth experience at 1920x1080. So, we’ll call F1 2010 a draw.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is so graphically demanding that today's $650 PC edges out the former build at our lowest test settings and resolution. A respectable overclock does give the Radeon HD 6870 a victory at this lowest (and arguably insignificant) configuration, though. As we increase our resolution, the Radeon HD 6950 steps in with its muscles flexed, establishing a clearer lead. Nevertheless, both stock and tweaked setups are playable at 1920x1080 and High details.

We enable all of the eye candy, aside from Advanced PhysX, for this second round of testing, including the highest detail levels, 4x MSAA, and the frame rate-zapping Depth of Field (DoF) filter. This is the first time one of our budget-oriented builds has hosted a graphics card powerful enough to satisfactorily cut through the 1280x720 test. But keep in mind that this low resolution was only added for the low-cost rigs, and we don’t even bother running our enthusiast platforms through this setting.

Both machines fail miserably at our two desired resolutions. However, we found that by disabling the DoF filter and 4x MSAA, we could make the current build playable at Very High details, averaging 43 and 45 FPS at 1920x1080 on the stock and overclocked setups, respectively. As a result of Metro 2033's taxing workload, the current machine's more powerful graphics card earns it the win.

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