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We're back with Part 2 of our bottleneck exploration in a mainstream gaming PC equipped with a Core i5 and GeForce GTX 460, ready to dive into test results from ten additional games. All of the results are summarized and analyzed in our conclusion.
Let’s reiterate a few background points for this two-piece article. We decided to analyze many popular PC games across a range of hardware and settings in an effort to identify key bottlenecks you might encounter on a fairly mainstream gaming PC. Do you need more than two processor cores for immersive gaming? Will a powerful graphics card work well, even if the CPU is weak? How much CPU and GPU performance do you really need?
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at Alien vs. Predator, Alpha Protocol, Anno 1404, Avatar, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bioshock 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Divinity 2: Ego Draconics, Dragon Age: Origins, and GTA IV EFLC. All were tested on an LGA 1156-based system. The Core i5-750 processor was configured with one, two, and four active cores and a 3 GHz clock speed. Additionally, we tried out four cores overclocked to 4 GHz. For graphics, we used a GeForce GTX 460 card, which provides sufficient performance for a solid gaming experience, but we also added a AMD Radeon HD 5870 here and there to look at potential benefits when pursuing high-end graphics.
So far, the results make clear that two cores are usually enough for gaming, but many games have specific requirements and performance characteristics. Let’s now look at ten more games and summarize the findings.
|Nvidia and ATI Graphic Cards|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-750 @ 4 GHz (21 x 190 MHz), Lynnfield design, 1.26875 V core voltage, 45 nm, LGA 1156|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte P55A-UD7, PCIe 2.0, 3-Way SLI|
|Chipset||Intel P55 Express|
|Memory||OCZ3G2000LV4GK, PC3-16000 Golden Series, 2 x 2 GB DDR3, 2 x 570 MHz 7-7-7-19 Timings|
|LAN||2 x RTL8111D|
|HDDs||SATA 3Gb/s, Western Digital Raptor WD300HLFS|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master RS-850-EMBA 850 W|
|Drivers & Configuration|
|Graphics||ATI Catalyst 10.7, Geforce 258.96|
|OS||Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit|
|DirectX||9, 10, and 11|