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Part 3: Building A Balanced Gaming PC

Benchmark Results: Fallout 3

Fallout 3

In Fallout 3, we use FRAPS to benchmark a 60 second run through our “Capital Wasteland” saved game. For smoother combat sequences, we’ll again keep the target at 40 FPS in this action RPG. There was no problem cranking details to maximum, while also enabling 4x AA and 15x AF to further enhance the gaming experience.

There’s a clear GPU limitation at a very playable 70 FPS for the Radeon HD 5750, but all the other graphics cards look fairly CPU-limited. The Core i7 and i5 processors lead the way, followed by the E8400 and Q9550. The Pentium E6300 brings up the rear, but doesn’t fair all too badly at 80+ FPS.

A little more GPU limitation is evident at 1680x1050. Averaging nearly 60 FPS, the cheapest configuration is still very playable, though.

Not a lot changes at 1920x1200, although the dual-GPU cards now sit alone at the top of the scale when paired with the Core i5 or i7 processors. Once again, the Pentium E6300 + Radeon HD 5750 deliver the most affordable solid gaming experience of our tested platforms.

All of the single-GPU cards are limiting performance and fall far shy of their dual-GPU siblings. Minimum framerates below 30 FPS and average framerates below 40 mean we have exceeded the capabilities of the Radeon HD 5750. The GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon HD 4890 both remain well above our performance target.

  • fatkid35
    first!
    Reply
  • ColMirage
    fatkid35first!Facepalm...

    Glad to see the last part of the series. Very useful!
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    I love how on the first page picture of all the games on this article show the games that truly take a toll on GPU's and CPU's. You are however missing Metro 2033 and Dirt 2 in DX11 which obliterates some GPUs in DX11!
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    A metro 2033 graph wouldn't be interesting it would start at 0 and end at 5 for most set ups :D
    Reply
  • The choice of Corsair Dominator for the RAM is surprising, given that there are equally fast and stable choices at a much lower price point. OCZ, G Skill, Crucial, etc. I still love their power supplies though.
    Reply
  • duk3
    ColMirageGlad to see the last part of the series. Very useful!
    They mentioned a part 4 in the article, with overclocking AMD processors.
    Reply
  • kaintfm
    The choice of Corsair Dominator for the RAM is surprising, given that there are equally fast and stable choices at a much lower price point. OCZ, G Skill, Crucial, etc. I still love their power supplies though.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    And where is the Core i3 530? This is the real gaming gem of a CPU, but I hardly see it in any reviews @ Tom's...
    Reply
  • manitoublack
    Bought 2 GTX295's on release and run them on my i7-920, in SLi at 640MHz. Still over a year on and there still almost top dog.

    Great review Toms, and makes it easier to sleep at night knowing that 14months on little can touch what I've got regardless of the $1600AUD buyin.
    Reply
  • FUtomNOreg
    Very enlightening though, given my current rig's specs, thoroughly depressing. Curse you for breaking my delusion that my PC was adequate! I feel an overwhelming urge to upgrade coming on.....
    Reply