How to Choose the Right CPU for 1080p Gaming: 14 Processors Compared

Ashes Of The Singularity: Escalation

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080

Ashes of the Singularity was one of the first titles to receive a Ryzen-optimized patch. And it appears that host processing is always going to be your bottleneck if you're using a GeForce GTX 1080 at 1920x1080. As we can see, the 18-core/36-thread Core i9-7980XE takes a healthy lead over the rest of the field, while the 10C/20T Core i9-7900X captures second place.

This benchmark scales well with increased core counts, highlighting some of the generational transitions in Intel's line-up. The 6-core/12-thread Core i7-8700K illustrates a big jump over Intel's previous-gen 4-core/8-thread Core i7-7700K, which basically ties the Core i5-8600K.

The Core i3-7350K (and every CPU below it in our chart) struggles mightily during the benchmark.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

Stepping down a notch to the GeForce GTX 1070 finds Intel's Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7900X providing nearly identical performance, while the rest of the field scales down as we'd expect.

Really, the Core i7-7700K and most processors under it offer nearly the same performance as they did paired up to a GeForce GTX 1080. We do measure a 2.3 FPS delta between the i5-8600K with both graphics cards, but that appears to be an exception. Such small variances hardly make it worth stepping up to the GeForce GTX 1080 in this title at this resolution.  

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

The limitations of a GeForce GTX 1060 become clear, even in this CPU-bound test, though Intel's Core i9-7980XE still maintains a healthy lead over the rest of the field.

At this point, a graphics bottleneck is emerging, pushing the GTX 1060 to its limit. As a result, the Core i9-7900X and Core i7-8700K fall a few positions. It's possible that a lighter workload isn't pushing the execution cores hard enough for them to maintain their highest Turbo Boost bins. If true, the uncore frequency drops as well, slowing the cache and ring bus frequencies, reducing performance throughout. We'll see this phenomenon in other titles, too.

Compared to our GeForce GTX 1080 results, we see similar performance from every CPU beneath the Core i5-8600K, showing that lower-end processors are still the bottleneck.


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

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Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • psiboy
    Would Have been good to see fx chips and first gen i series. That could explain why Mine appears to be the only comment in a week!