System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: Our Enthusiast PC

Results: Battlefield 4 And Arma 3

Battlefield 4

Replacing its predecessor in our bench suite, Battlefield 4 also tends to be limited by the graphics subsystem. CPU performance plays a more prominent role at lower resolutions and lower detail levels, though. For those of you done with this game's single-player campaign, big multi-player maps tend to be quite processor-bound as well. In the real world, you'll get even more benefit from a faster CPU than these tests indicate.

At the Medium preset, our previous effort's GeForce GTX 780 Ti establishes an advantage over the newer machine and its Radeon R9 290. That delta wanes as resolution increases. The story repeats itself when the Ultra detail preset is used.

Arma 3

Per Paul Henningsen's story yesterday:

"Based on reader feedback, I dug deeper into Arma 3 on both gaming-oriented machines and found the 'Infantry' showcase isn't hard enough on these inexpensive CPUs. Other parts of the game, especially larger Altis maps, can absolutely hammer the CPU.

My newest PC survives through 1920x1080 at standard defaults, but struggles at times to deliver smooth performance across three panels. And it’s not the resolution hammering frame rates, but rather the increased processing load that comes from this wider aspect ratio."