Part 1: Building A Balanced Gaming PC

Benchmark Results: World In Conflict

World in Conflict

We use the game’s built-in benchmark for testing World in Conflict. While you'll often hear that an RTS is playable at 25-30 FPS, we set our average target at 35 FPS to better cope with the minimum frame rates experienced in the game.

The Radeon HD 4850 does fine at 1280x1024, but enabling 4x AA exceeds its limits. The GeForce cards are, here again, more limited by the dual-core processors, making the Radeon HD 4890/E6300 the cheapest combination needed to reach our target. The Radeon HD 4870 X2 and all of the GeForce cards continue to scale upward up until we hit the Core i7-920. But interestingly, the Radeon HD 4890 is fairly well-balanced with the E8400 and above.

Not a whole lot changes at 1680x1050. The Radeon HD 4890 and Radeon HD 4870 X2 are both playable when paired with the Pentium E6300. But it takes more processor than that to balance out any of the cards capable of this resolution.

At 1920x1200, the GeForce GTX 260 falls a bit, now requiring a quad-core CPU to remain above target. The Radeon HD 4890 is still the sweet spot for a cheapest minimum recommendation, only falling behind the GeForce GTX 285 when paired up to the top CPU.

World in Conflict sure looks impressive maxed out at 2560x1600 with 4x AA enabled. But it’s only the dual-GPU solutions that remain playable.  While the Radeon HD 4870 X2 reaches its target with the Pentium E6300 here, it’s not a combination we’d recommend for non-overclockers.  Likewise, with the GeForce GTX 295, if you own this beast, match it up to quad-core chip or raise the core speed of your dual-core CPU. Ignore the Radeon HD 4850 fluctuations in this chart, as each instance was reduced to a painful slideshow.  

  • yoy0yo
    Wow, this is an amazingly in depth review! I kinda feel that its sponsered by Asus or Corsair, but I guess you kept with the same brand for the sake of controls etc.

  • winner4455
    I see a great series coming
  • inmytaxi
    Very helpful stuff.

    I'd like to see some discussion on the availability of sub $400 (at times as low as $280) 28" monitors. At this price range, does it make more sense to spend more on the LCD even if less is spent initially on graphics? I would think the benefit of 28" vs. 22" is so great that the extra money could be taken from, say, a 9550 + 4890 combo and getting a 8400/6300 + 4850 instead, with the right motherboard a second 4850 later will pass a 4890 anyway.
  • frozenlead
    I like the balance charts. It's a good way to characterize the data. This article is well constructed and well thought-out.

    That being said - is there a way we can compile this data and compute an "optimized" system for the given hardware available? Finding the true, calculated sweet spot for performance/$ would be so nice to have on hand every quarter or twice a year. I'll have to think about this one for a while. There may be some concessions to make, and it might not even work out. But it would be so cool.
  • ghost111
    Nice one.Now i want to see part two.
  • Neggers
    I feel like the person that did this review got it finished alittle bit late. I can only assume he did all the testing some months back and has only just finished writing up his results. But its sad to not see the new P55/i5 Systems, AMD Athlon II Quad Cores, or the Radeon 5000 series.

    Good review, but hopefully it can be updated soon with some of the newer equipment thats out, to turn it into a fantastic guide for people.
  • brockh
    Great job, this is the information people need to be seeing; the way people provide benchmarks these days hardly tells the story to most of the readers. It's definitely important to point out the disparities in ones CPU choice, rather than just assuming everyone uses the i7 all the sites choose. ;)

    Looking forward to part 2.
  • sinny1
    wow! Awesome works! Can't wait til you guys get to the ATI 5000 series. Keep it up! :)
  • Onyx2291
    This will take up some of my time. Even though I know how, it's nice to get a refresher every now and then.
  • mohsh86
    you are really kidding me by not considering the ATI 5000 series, although am a fan of nvidia , but this is not fair !