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AMD's Piledriver And K10 CPU Architectures Face Off

Results: Far Cry 3

Next up is another well-threaded DirectX 11 title, Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3, based on the Dunia Engine 2.

The Athlon II is the only CPU to dip under 40 FPS. Everything else delivers acceptable performance at the High quality detail preset.

While AMD's Phenom II outpaces the company's Athlon X4 750K at 3.4 GHz, overclocking puts them on even ground. Also notable is that this is the fourth title in a row where an overclocked FX-6350 tops the charts.


Far Cry 3 has become one of my favorite titles for evaluating gaming platforms. In general, I find that configurations that stay above 30-32 FPS in our test sequence meet my demands through the rest of the campaign. The extra 15 or so minutes I spent playing on the Athlon II X4 640-based config were enough to know that, at Ultra quality, this processor needs to be overclocked. Like many of the dual-core processors I’ve evaluated, those dips under 30 FPS are significant enough that they detract from the game, necessitating a drop to the Very High preset.

I wouldn’t call anything less than a quad-core Phenom II smooth, though the overclocked Athlon II X4 640 and stock Athlon X4 750K also receive a passing grade. As I mentioned in the Intel equivalent of this piece, Ultra details at 1920x1080 require a strong graphics card, which you'll want to complement with a similarly-capable platform. If money is tight, though, an overclocked Athlon X4 750K could be the ticket on a strict budget.

  • KelvinTy
    So much BS, the old Phenom II X4 and X6 BE are still really competitive after all these years. Yet, if they bother to update the instruction set, and just shrink the thing, then change it to AM3+ socket, that would be great...
    K10 has so much more potential...
    Reply
  • Personally, I was surprised to see the FX-4350 do so well. The bump up, compared to the FX-4300, has really done it some good.
    Reply
  • MU_Engineer
    Kelvin, the tests showed that the Piledriver FXes are not that far off the Phenom IIs clock for clock and core for core. The Phenom II X4 965BE at 4.0 GHz was generally about as fast as the stock FX-4350 running 200-400 MHz faster so you figure about a 5% per-clock, per-core advantage for the Phenom II. However, each Piledriver core is quite a bit smaller than a K10 core and they also have a longer pipeline so they can clock quite a bit faster (K10 was pretty well tapped out.) So you get more cores and more clocks out of Piledriver with essentially the same performance per core and per clock. I'd say that the modular architecture used in the FXes finally got the vindication it deserved with this test. Way to go Tom's.
    Reply
  • Onus
    As I was going through this, at first I was worried about the absence of comparison to Intel, but was relieved to see it at the end. Especially if I don't want to push my 970BE really hard (I'd rather play on my PC than with it), the FX-63x0 looks like a viable upgrade.
    Reply
  • cmartin011
    I want some juice GPU news. I am aware they are not going anywhere fast with CPUs. My wallet will be open for 8 core in 2 years when performance Increases 20%
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    I just want some solid numbers on Steamroller already.
    Reply
  • magnesiumk
    Thank you so much for writing this article. Thank you also for including the Phenom II 965 processor to this test. I use it, and it is somewhat dated, and hard to find compared to newer cores. However it still kicks a lot of butt in gaming. I bought my Phenom II 955BE C3 last year with overclocking in mind

    I always wanted to see how it would compare to newer models, and even intel counterparts. Thank you for this. I loved reading the article. Keep comparisons like this coming.
    Reply
  • magnesiumk
    I also wanted to add, thank you for listing the 965BE with overclock at 4Ghz. It's easy to clock this processor up to those speeds. That's about what I run at, and it also runs much greater than stock speeds. This is important in future comparison tests. Thanks again.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    Wanted to see i3 and i5 CPUs on the charts. Not just in the "Wrapping things up" section. Also, why not compare to a i5-3470? It's locked, cheaper, and still fast.
    Reply
  • crisan_tiberiu
    if the 6350 is so close to the 3570k the 8350 eats it alive..and everybody recommends the i5 ^-. AMD has still good value
    Reply