Our last game benchmark is the renowned RPG, Fallout 3. This benchmark allows us to capture minimum as well as average frame rates. First, we'll look at Medium setting results:
Finally, a game that's very playable on the Athlon 64 X2 3800+. There is a CPU bottleneck, but it looks to be at 40 FPS, which are high enough for comfortable gameplay in an RPG title. The Radeon HD 4650s hang in there at 1280x1024, but when the resolution is raised, they take a beating. The Radeon HD 3850, on the other hand, consistently keeps the average frame rate around the 40 FPS bottleneck.
Now, we'll raise the visual quality settings to High, which includes 4xAA and 8xAF:
The valiant Radeon HD 3850 hangs in there, but the Radeon HD 4650 isn't able to keep its chin up. As the resolution is raised to 1920x1200, even the Radeon HD 3850 drops slightly below 30 FPS.
Note the minimum frame rates on all of the Fallout 3 benchmarks. Even though the Radeon HD 3850 is achieving some playable average frame rates, the minimums will likely present some choppiness when things get busy on-screen.