Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review

Benchmark Results: Metro 2033 (DX11)

We used the fastest single-GPU graphics card available in order to expose any platform-oriented bottlenecks in Metro 2033. With that said, it’s hard to imagine anyone buying a GeForce GTX 580 and gaming at 1680x1050. If they did, they’d see performance start to drop off in a noticeable way starting with AMD’s Phenom II X4 970, continuing on through Intel’s dual-core offerings, and ending with an older Core 2 Quad Q9550.

The moral of the story here seems to be that, as you step up to higher-end graphics, a dual-core processor simply isn’t fast enough.

Also interesting is that the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T, though not the fastest offering, opens up enough headroom to enable the highest minimum frame rate in our Metro 2033 benchmark. That advantage shrinks as you crank resolution up, though, shifting more demand onto the GPU. By the time you hit 2560x1600, eight of 10 platforms fall within one frame per second of each other.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • JE_D
    BENCHIES! Thanks Tomshardware!
  • Editor, page 10 has mistakes. Its LGA1155, not LGA1555.
  • cangelini
    MoneyFace pEditor, page 10 has mistakes. Its LGA1155, not LGA1555.
    Fixed, thanks Money!
  • juncture
    "an unlocked Sandy Bridge chip for $11 extra is actually pretty damn sexy."

    i think the author's saying he's a sexually active cyberphile
  • cangelini
    juncturei think the author's saying he's sexually active
    Just this.
  • fakie
    Contest is limited to residents of the USA (excluding Rhode Island) 18 years of age and older.

    Everytime there's a new contest, I see this line. =(
  • englandr753
    Great article guys. Glad to see you got your hands on those beauties. I look forward to you doing the same type of review with bulldozer. =D
  • joytech22
    Wow Intel owns when it came to converting video, beating out much faster dedicated solutions, which was strange but still awesome.

    I don't know how AMD's going to fare but i hope their new architecture will at least compete with these CPU's, because for a few years now AMD has been at least a generation worth of speed behind Intel.

    Also Intel's IGP's are finally gaining some ground in the games department.
  • cangelini
    fakieContest is limited to residents of the USA (excluding Rhode Island) 18 years of age and older.Everytime there's a new contest, I see this line. =(
    I really wish this weren't the case fakie--and I'm very sorry it is. We're unfortunately subject to the will of the finance folks and the government, who make it hard to give things away without significant tax ramifications. I know that's of little consolation, but that's the reason :(

  • LuckyDucky7
    "It’s the value-oriented buyers with processor budgets between $100 and $150 (where AMD offers some of its best deals) who get screwed."

    I believe that says it all. Sorry, Intel, your new architecture may be excellent, but unless the i3-2100 series outperforms anything AMD can offer at the same price range WHILE OVERCLOCKED, you will see none of my desktop dollars.

    That is all.