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FX Vs. Core i7: Exploring CPU Bottlenecks And AMD CrossFire

Results: 3DMark, Aliens Vs. Predator, And Metro 2033

Although it reflects differences in the overall and Physics scores, 3DMark 11 indicates relatively little difference in graphics performance betewen the Core i7-3770K and FX-8350. As a result, AMD's desktop flagship already looks like a better value. Of course, we need to see how it fares in real-world games first.

Because we're sticking to the benchmark-only version of the old Aliens vs. Predator title, I wedged the results between the purely synthetic 3DMark and Metro 2033's in-game flyby sequence.

Even at the lowest resolution (the one that'd be most susceptible to a processor bottleneck), AMD's FX is only negligibly slower, on average, than the Intel platform.

Naturally, we know that averages aren't everything though. Stick with us; we're going somewhere with this...

Processor bottlenecks are most common at low resolutions. But nobody games at 1920x1080 using an $800 combination of high-end cards. Scaling up from High to Very High details and full eye-candy in Metro 2033 tips the scales in favor of AMD's FX processor at 4800x900. As we approach 5760x1080, performance becomes marginal, and so we copied a few of the benchmark’s performance graphs to gauge playability more accurately.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.