Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
We know this benchmark is old; the good news is that we're in the processor of transitioning over to Battlefield 4 and a handful of other newer titles. You'll see scores in those shortly.
For now, at the most interesting resolutions, frame rates in our Battlefield 3 single-player sequence are typically limited by graphics hardware, and not by modern host processors. To better align with the graphical loads you experience in-game, I shoot for an average of about 45 frames per second as a reasonable target.
At the Medium detail preset, this quarter's PC dominates, but is capped by the game's 200 FPS ceiling. Still, it's glaringly obvious that today's machine sports the more powerful processor and graphics solution.
Regardless, both boxes remain easily playable through our highest three-panel resolution.
Both builds deliver a solid 1920x1080 experience using Ultra details in Battlefield 3. Last quarter’s GeForce GTX 760 required aggressive overclocking to survive these settings at 4800x900. But our $800 rig’s factory-overclocked Radeon R9 280X handles the same demands more adeptly.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is mainly CPU-bound on my two machines, and I suspect that the drop at 4800x900 is related to the demands of a wider aspect ratio rather than our graphics hardware pushing more pixels. The $800 PC is a beast; at Ultra details, it never drops below 60 FPS rending 4800x900.
Not all countries have good internet infrastructure. If that wasn't the case Microsoft wouldn't have to reverse its policies on the X1. Another thing is retail game DVDs costs very less in my country. For example, Bioshock Infinite costs only 15.97$ at launch date. If I were to buy it through Steam at launch date it would have cost me 59.99$
I know that the writers of "best CPUs" for the money always make a huge fuss about how "oh, you save 7W (or however much it is) by not having the on-board graphics", but I still think it's worth keeping, for if your discrete card gives out on you. My PC buggered up installing my graphics drivers once, and if it weren't for my intel "backup" GPU, my rig would have been bricked.
For us, both were available from Newegg at a $10 difference. Either is fine. I chose the -3350P back for the Q1 $600 Gaming PC, and it's OC was limited to 3.5-3.7 GHz with this same Z75 Pro3 mobo. But I actually prefer the -3470 at these prices for reasons stated in the text (higher clocks and backup HD 2500 graphics). It fit in under budget, and its higher Turbo limit provide a 300 MHz boost across the board (3.8-4.0 GHz) when overclocking. That right there is worth $10 in an SBM where value equals a straight bang for buck calculation.
My own thoughts on this one are mixed. I like to see the challenge of a lower budget. This $800 PC was quite good, however. With the focus on gaming this SBM cycle, this one looks like a shoe-in for value winner. I don't see what two or three times the budget will buy that can offer similar multiples of performance, especially that will be visible in actual use.
That said, for my own uses, I'd take the "High" to "Max" settings in my games that a GTX650Ti Boost would offer, and put the balance into a SSD.
I currently just built a "budget" machine for my son which ended up close to $850. That build was using an Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ motherboard, AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz to (O.C. to 4.3GHz @ 38 C), w/ an Enermax ETS-T40-TB 86.7 CFM CPU Cooler.
What I wanted had to be tempered with what I could squeeze into the budget so a new Asus Radeon R7 260X 2GB Video Card was put in for now. A WD Caviar (Blue) 1TB drive was put in for storage, G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory and a Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply to make it all run. Windows 8.1 was installed and the case is a nice looking Corsair 350D case.
My working theory is this rig will run well now and a new video card, better CPU cooler with a faster stronger CPU and an SSD down the road are all manageable upgrades that could keep this machine running good, playable frame rates for several years down the road.
There is always more than one way to skin a cat and to me this was the least amount I would build with.