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

Benchmark Results: F1 2010 (DX11)

F1 2010 is far more CPU-dependent than Metro 2033, a notoriously graphics-heavy game. In fact, even with the same GeForce GTX 580 installed through our run of 10 different platforms, the difference between first and last place is more than double!

Three Sandy Bridge-based CPUs take the top three spots at 1680x1050 and 1920x1080. Things get a lot closer at 2560x1600 though, where graphics take more of the load. Ignoring 1680x1050 (nobody with high-end graphics and a respectable processor is gaming on a 17” display, right?), the AMD processors get pounded. A $185 Core i5-2400 does 83.3 FPS at 1920x1080, while the $185 Phenom II X4 970 manages just under 50. You really have to crank the resolution up another notch to 2560x1600 (or dial up anti-aliasing) to get these CPUs on more equal footing.

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.