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.