Results: Far Cry 3 And GRID 2
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is my favorite title to benchmark in this test suite. It’s well-threaded, bringing many entry-level processors to their knees. But it also happens to be the most graphically demanding title these machines need to face. On top of that, our in-game test sequence represents the highest demands you’ll face within the game.
The absence of resolution scaling at 16:9 aspect ratios makes it clear we’re bumping up against CPU limitations in each configuration. However, it’s of little concern as the experience was almost buttery smooth.
Last quarter’s PC survived through 4800x900 and its minimum frame rates jumped by seven FPS once overclocked. However, our new PC ups the anti even further, by matching that in stock form, and remaining above 40FPS once overclocked. Clearly, even at these reduced settings the graphics cards were the limiting factor for triple-panel gaming.
Ultra Quality continues to punish each and every one of my $500 gaming boxes. At 1280x720, frame rates never dropped below 30FPS, but the experience once again still felt sluggish. Out of the box, the G3258 just can’t handle these demanding settings.
Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there; with a fairly easy to achieve 4.0GHz, the Pentium now sustained over 40FPS. But once again we lack sufficient graphics muscle to tackle 1920x1080. The new machine wins this game, as dropping to 2X MSAA yields 42FPS averages and 37FPS minimums, which is nearly identical performance seen last quarter with AA totally disabled.
In GRID 2, both machines breeze through 4800x900 at the system-bound High Quality preset.
Cranked to Ultra-quality, with 8X MSAA, (overclocked) we’re now riding the brink of a well balanced platform for this game. Milder overclocking can’t quite match the raw performance of last quarter’s endeavors, but you’ll notice at 1920x1080 we still netted almost five additional FPS by outfitting higher-clocked R9 270X.
Preferably one with Inverter technology, which will decrease the temperature delta (it doesn't start-stop once it reaches a given temperature threshold).
Since the purpose of these SBM machines is (imho) to learn things, I would have liked to have seen a different mobo used, for comparison.
I appreciate the thoughtful approach to overclocking that was used here.
The only niggle I can't resist is the $18 for the optical drive. For months, I've been seeing one or another of them for around $13-$14. That seems a small thing, but that $4-$5 plus the leftover may have bought either a better cooler or a faster HDD.
same with the game of the year, Dragon Age Inquisition.
I suspect it's time to drop dual cores as a build suggestion.