Results: Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3 is capped at 200 FPS, cutting into the $2500 machine’s overall performance leadership and hurting its potential value score (in spite of the fact that hardly anyone cares about average frame rates that are this high).
More interesting is the $650 PC’s ability to push three monitors at the Medium quality preset and 4800x900 pixels.
Stepping up to Ultra quality pushes the $650 PC out of triple-display playability, but the $1300 system still gets there. The $2500 machine's extra potential is being wasted, unless you want to run an even higher resolution or connect 120 Hz displays.
Someone looking at just this article, which isn't that unlikely, would be lead to believe that an i7 is something that an "ultimate" gaming computer has, that an expensive motherboard helps, and that a $2500 PC is going to be far better than a $1500 one.
They really should include performance per dollar figures in this writeup.
For the parts, or for the computers themselves? Either would be nice, actually.
One thing that would go a long way is stressing how wonky their testing is - most people reading this as advice for building a computer are going to be building a gaming computer purely, rendering 70% of the test bench pointless.
And I'm not griping at tom's, all review sites seem to do this. There should be some way to create a better benchmark. Maybe host a custom server and load it up with scripted "players" or something.
I feel like they've modified the benchmarking suite to favor AMD as much as possible.
And when was the last time an AMD CPU made it into a SBM? Modifying benchmarks to favor a product that is never showcased is a moot point.