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3D Games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis

System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $550 Gaming PC
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3D Games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Crysis

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 offers fairly impressive visuals on modest graphics hardware, and our stock PCs both average 83 frames per second (FPS) at 1,080p. We are dealing with different graphics drivers between systems, but the March PC is clearly CPU-limited, allowing the June PC with a single Radeon HD 5770 to average slightly higher frames per second at low resolutions.

Overclocking allows the March PC to pull a slight (albeit insignificant) lead over the current system.

By enabling 4x anti-aliasing (AA), we see a glimpse of the performance potential of a pair of Radeon HD 4850 cards, as the overclocked March PC is still CPU-limited at 1,080p, while a little more stress is seen with the single Radeon HD 5770 at these settings. Regardless, both stock systems have all it takes for smooth maximum detail gameplay in CoD: Modern Warfare 2.

The stock $550 PC handles high details in Crysis fairly well up to a 1680x1050 resolution, but the machine is still outclassed by the former $750 PC. Overclocking improves performance and may keep some people happy at 1080p, but it’s clear the March rig is far more capable at this resolution.

At very high details, Crysis just crushes the June PC. We have taken some criticism for using dual graphics cards in value-oriented builds, but make note of acceptable 1,080p performance for our overclocked pair of Radeon HD 4850s versus what we consider unplayable at 1280x1024 for the overclocked Radeon HD 5770. A single Radeon HD 4890 does a decent job at 1280x1024, while a Radeon HD 5850 or two Radeon HD 4850s are a better starting point when raising resolutions from there.

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