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Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: $800 Gaming PC

Battlefield 3

We know this benchmark is old; the good news is that we're in the processor of transitioning over to Battlefield 4 and a handful of other newer titles. You'll see scores in those shortly.

For now, at the most interesting resolutions, frame rates in our Battlefield 3 single-player sequence are typically limited by graphics hardware, and not by modern host processors. To better align with the graphical loads you experience in-game, I shoot for an average of about 45 frames per second as a reasonable target.

At the Medium detail preset, this quarter's PC dominates, but is capped by the game's 200 FPS ceiling. Still, it's glaringly obvious that today's machine sports the more powerful processor and graphics solution.

Regardless, both boxes remain easily playable through our highest three-panel resolution.

Both builds deliver a solid 1920x1080 experience using Ultra details in Battlefield 3. Last quarter’s GeForce GTX 760 required aggressive overclocking to survive these settings at 4800x900. But our $800 rig’s factory-overclocked Radeon R9 280X handles the same demands more adeptly.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is mainly CPU-bound on my two machines, and I suspect that the drop at 4800x900 is related to the demands of a wider aspect ratio rather than our graphics hardware pushing more pixels. The $800 PC is a beast; at Ultra details, it never drops below 60 FPS rending 4800x900.

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