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Game-Off: Seven Sub-$150 Processors Compared

Benchmark Results: Crysis

Crysis is our first game benchmark. Let's see if the results correspond to the expectations set by the 3DMark results:

We're seeing a very close correlation with the 3DMark results, indeed. The first thing we notice is that the Athlon II X3 445 provides excellent relative gaming performance for under $100. It easily beats out the dual-core Athlon II X2 260 and Pentium G6950 and essentially achieves performance parity with the quad-core Athlon II X4 640. Even at 1920x1080, the minimum frame rate is very close to 30 FPS and the average frame rate is a playable 45 FPS.

The next processor of interest is the Core i3-530. Now that this processor has dropped in price to $115, it has become quite attractive and bests the marginally more expensive quad-core Athlon II X4 640 in this benchmark. The Core i3-530 even comes close to performing at the same level as the Phenom II X4 940/945.

Speaking of the Phenom II X4 940/945, this benchmark shows us the benefits of its 6MB of L3 cache. Since the Athlon II X4 640 is essentially a Phenom II X4 945 stripped of its L3 cache—running at the same clock speed with the same multiplier—the performance difference is totally attributable to the Phenom II's cache.

Finally, the Core i3-540 doesn't appear all that impressive next to its much cheaper Core i3-530 brethren. Offering a measly 133 MHz increase, the Core i3-540 doesn't impress compared to the Core i3-530 and Phenom II X4 940/945.

  • wintermint
    AMD is really improving. I'm waiting for them to manufacture 32nm CPUs like Intel :)
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Interesting article-it clearly shows the advantage of having four physical cores of the Athlon II and the Phenom II X4s over the hyper-threaded Core i3s in real-world situations.No doubt that this article will benefit people who want the perfect processor for their money at this price range
    Reply
  • falchard
    I am glad an RTS was used in this benchmark. More CPU heavy games should be included in the benchmark for Processor benchmarking.

    With that said, there was a mention that the 6MB L3 cache may have helped the Phenom II X4 945, I wonder what would happen with a Phenom II X2 or X3 by comparison if this actually makes a significant impact. It could prove there is a significant advantage to cheaper AMD CPUs then the Athlon IIs in this benchmark.
    Reply
  • Found a typo on the chart, I don't see why you would compare the Intel i3-530 against itself. :P
    Reply
  • qvasi_modo
    AMD - bang for the buck, Intel - bling for the buck.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    qvasi_modoAMD - bang for the buck, Intel - bling for the buck.Uptil a certain price range.
    Reply
  • war2k9
    It is time for me to dust of my old am2+ computer and put a new amd proc in it and give it a new life.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    DemonslayFound a typo on the chart, I don't see why you would compare the Intel i3-530 against itself.
    Thx, fixed!
    Reply
  • vikasnagpal_v2
    i like the performance of i3-530......................
    Reply
  • luke904
    Tamz_mscInteresting article-it clearly shows the advantage of having four physical cores of the Athlon II and the Phenom II X4s over the hyper-threaded Core i3s in real-world situations.No doubt that this article will benefit people who want the perfect processor for their money at this price range

    sorry but i must disagree...

    the core i3 530 was 8% faster than the athlon X4 and costs $5 less
    its a great processor it seems, a nice change from intel. but i admit, my heart sunk after seeing amd's athlon X4 get beat. its like sports, i root for AMD

    please dont quote the multitasking benchmark as no sane person compresses stuff while gaming...
    yes the athlon would probably be better overall for most people, but not for gaming



    Reply