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Who's Got Game? Twelve Sub-$200 CPUs Compared

Benchmark Results: Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is our first game benchmark, and it's well-known for demanding graphics performance. But let's take a look at how processor performance affects the overall picture when the GPU is static. Note that the results are shown in order of current (and projected) CPU pricing:

The playing field is tight here, without a lot of differentiation between processors. Then again, that's what you get when you lead off with a title known to really tax the latest graphics technology.

We do notice a few points of interest, though. Namely, the Sandy Bridge-based processors have the highest minimum and highest average frame rates. In addition, this game appears to prefer quad-core or Hyper-Threaded processors, as the Athlon II X3 455 trails the pack by a sizable deficit. The Phenom II X4’s large cache doesn’t seem to provide much advantage in this game compared to the Athlon II X4 645, though. The Clarkdale-based dual-core Hyper-Threaded Core i3s trail a little here relative to the quad-core Phenoms.

  • Simulated CPU Chart: 3330 GHz

    o_O I'd like me one of those
    Reply
  • alidan
    id just love to point out, i personally will never again make a mistake of getting a hyperthreaded cpu over real cores. i made that mistake once, and never again.

    a pc will never be gaming only, unless you have more than one, in that case, for for the cheaper dual core hyperthreaded, but if you do anything else, get a real quadcore and don't even take into consideration the logical cores.
    Reply
  • lunyone
    I'm still thinking the AMD Athlon II x3's and x4's are the best buys around. If you take comparable configurations from AMD and Intel, AMD wins easily. Here is what I'm talking about below:

    AMD build w/AMD Athlon II x3 455 w/Asus 870 based mobo:
    $89 for Athlon II x3 455
    $90 for AMD mobo (Asus) w/6xSATA 3, 6 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 4 x DDR3 slots.
    ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131651

    Intel build w/i3 550 w/P55 based mobo (Asus also):
    $130 i3 550
    $150-$10 MIRc Comparable mobo (Asus also) 6xSATA 3, 6 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 4 DDR3 slots.
    ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131634

    **These are all Newegg prices**
    AMD build (using the same Case/PSU/RAM/DVD parts in both systems)
    $179 + shared parts.

    Intel build (same parts shared w/AMD build)
    $280 + shared parts.

    This equals out to ~$100 price difference between the 2 builds, which to me is quite a bit!

    So in general when trying to factor in "Value" for the gaming buck I still see the AMD based system being the better buy. Assuming your using mobo's with about the same features. If you notice the Intel based mobo's will cost you more for similar AMD based mobo's. This is where a lot of the value comes from AMD. Don't get me wrong here, the Intel based system is very good system too, you just have to pay more for them.
    Reply
  • amirp
    @lunyone

    Yes the amd build is pretty cheap, but swap you're i3 550 with the i3 2100 and the p55 mobo with the p67 mobo, and you have a build that is now worth the $100 over the amd build
    Reply
  • amirp
    sorry I meant to add, the drawback is waiting for the SB mobo's to arrive

    also I think this conclusion summarizes well AMD's predicament in a months time:
    "the Core i3-2100 performs as well as (or slightly better than) AMD's Phenom II X4 970 flagship."

    Reply
  • dco
    Up until now, AMD's Pentium II X4

    I almost missed this typo an AMD pentium hmmm something seems wrong.
    Reply
  • So what everyone is saying is - AMD's old technology is getting beat by Intel's newest? This is to be expected.

    If the point is that Intel has the best budget system at the current prices - then yes, the point is made. But it looks more like you're trying to prove Intel is better just before AMD launches a new generation of CPU's. While I can't speak for anyone else, I'm at least going to give their next generation a chance.
    Reply
  • kashifme21
    Why even bother upgrading when most games are console ports, and dont need more then 3-4 yr old hardware to run maxed out?

    Certainly no one needs quad cores for web browsing and word lol.
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    Don't forget the fact that these sandy-bridge CPUS can not be overclocked
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    id like to see a core 2 duo comparison to the new cpu's. Everyone says they are old and slow, but in reality they are similar to an i3 without hyperthreading.
    Reply