As if by magic, the $1,250 system’s two factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 260 graphics cards edge out the $2,500 system’s quad-GPU dual GeForce GTX 295s at default settings. Adding better overclocking capability to the much larger $1,250 system turns a pin prick into a bloodbath. The $625 system’s playability at 1680x1050 makes it a great match for low-cost, mid-sized monitors.
A big turnaround for the $2,500 PC at Very High details indicates a CPU bottleneck at the lower settings. The $1,250 system still wins at 1280x1024, but we doubt anyone who spends this much for a system would be satisfied with the legacy 4:3 resolution.
Something just isn’t right with Far Cry 2, as all systems appear CPU-limited in every configuration, yet the $1,250 system’s base speed matches the $2,500 build’s overclocked performance. These two machines use the same processor, and Quad-SLI was enabled in the $2,500 system’s driver interface.