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Benchmark Results: StarCraft II

Picking A Sub-$200 Gaming CPU: FX, An APU, Or A Pentium?

We already know that this RTS is more of a workout for CPUs than graphics cards. So, its benchmark results promise to be enlightening.

Intel’s Core i5 really sets itself apart with a very high minimum frame rate. The caveat, of course, is that you pay more for it. And, it's already overclocked (don't worry, we'll be getting to our group-wide overclocking results shortly).

Aside from that result, the Core i3 and Pentium CPUs stand above the crowd. Also, the Phenom II X4 and X6 perform well.

This is one of the few games where the Athlons and AMD APUs appear severely hamstrung by their lack of L3 cache.

When it comes to our lower-priced contenders, Intel's Pentiums really distinguish themselves, although the Phenom II X4 955 and FX-4100 aren’t far behind. This is one of the few games where AMD's FX-4100 performs relatively well given its price point, supporting our theory that StarCraft II effectively utilizes available L3 cache. Correspondingly, the Athlons and A4-3400 perform slower.

In our higher price bracket, the Core i5 processors show off a bit, while the Core i3-2100 steps ahead of the rest of the competition.

Most of the other CPUs fall into a tight grouping, with the exception of AMD's A8-3870K, which doesn't perform well. Not surprisingly, it's the one chip in this segment without L3 cache.

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