Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
The two newer builds are again mainly CPU-limited in multi-threaded F1 2012, at least up until 1920x1080 at Ultra details with 8X MSAA. The FX-6300 and GeForce GTX 760 are the superior pairing, starting higher and finishing stronger. Minimum frame rates for all configurations do exceed 60 FPS at 1920x1080 though, and the configurations we tested at 4800x900 survive admirably well too.
It would have been interesting to gauge Pitcairn’s ability to render maximum details across three panels, but we can hypothesize that our card's 1 GB of on-board memory would have forced us to use lower levels of anti-aliasing.
Far Cry 3
At Far Cry 3’s High quality preset, our two $650 systems are pretty evenly matched, both capable through 4800x900. Minimum frame rates are in the 34-35 range right out of the box. Overclocked, neither dropped below 40 FPS.
While the $600 build’s Core i5 processor scales higher, that advantage goes to waste as resolutions increase (at least until we bolster clock rates on the graphics card).
We finally have a good reason to go big on graphics performance for a single-panel 1920x1080 setting. Far Cry 3’s Ultra preset puts even the overclocked $600 PC out of contention above 1280x720, as 4x MSAA is just too taxing for the Radeon HD 7850.
Last’s quarter’s $650 PC needed overclocking to maintain more than 32 frames per second at 1920x1080. This quarter’s PC matches that in its stock form, and never drops below 39 FPS after our overclock. As the most brutal game we test in the System Builder Marathon, Far Cry 3 justifies our decision to go with a GeForce GTX 760 for 1920x1080 gaming.