Page 1:A Pure Gaming Machine
Page 2:CPU And Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 6:Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Beast
Page 7:Making The Most Of Limited Overclocking
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And StarCraft II
Page 10:Benchmark Results: DiRT 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 11:Benchmark Results: Crysis And Just Cause 2
Page 12:Benchmark Results: F1 2010 And Metro 2033
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Audio/Video
Page 14:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 15:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 16:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 17:Performance Summary And Efficiency
Page 18:Is It Unbalanced, Or Right For Gaming?
Benchmark Results: F1 2010 And Metro 2033
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 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.
- A Pure Gaming Machine
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Beast
- Making The Most Of Limited Overclocking
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: Crysis And Just Cause 2
- Benchmark Results: F1 2010 And Metro 2033
- Benchmark Results: Audio/Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary And Efficiency
- Is It Unbalanced, Or Right For Gaming?