Results: Battlefield 4
Everyone wins in Battlefied 4 at Medium Quality. Paul lacks the performance potential to test at 5760x1080, but the target of his $600 PC is only 1920x1080. Reaching 60 FPS at 4800x900 without overclocking makes Paul the smart shopper.
Mr. Henningsen's $600 system drops out of the triple-wide race at Battlefield's Ultra quality preset, but still hits its 1920x1080 target. Don’s $1300 PC might be playable at 5760x1080, but that’s more of a sure thing as I approach 40 FPS with my overclocked $1600 machine.
The first I think I'd build as an uncle-nephew project, then he and his sisters would have an excellent homework machine that would be capable of some fun too.
Either the second or third I'd mix and match with some of my own parts, but their platforms would become my new primary machine, just to update what I've got. I'd love to win any of them.
Conversely, 1600x900 and 1280x720 ARE able to run on 1920x1080 displays.
Nobody thinks you're using a 1600x900 display. 1600x900 is a backup resolution for people who want to run 1920x1080 with super-high quality, but find that their graphics card is too weak. Options for a slightly-underpowered graphics card are to set 1600x900, which looks good on a 1920x1080 display, or to use lower quality settings. If you're not geek enough to know that, you've no room to complain.
The motherboard would cost around $120 more, the CPU $50 more, and the DRAM at least $50 more to reach slightly lower overall performance rating (DDR4-2133 CAS 16, for example). The added threads would allow faster encoding and compiling times in roughly 20% of the tests, while lower clock rate would cause slower performance in nearly all the other tests. We'd probably be lucky to break even on this benchmark set, while spending more money.
Thanks for not thinking of me as a geek now go tell that to my ex-wife.
People asked us a long time ago to quit with the 2560x1600 tests because hardly anyone had 2560x1600 monitors. And our 2560x1600 monitors won't do 2560x1440, so we'd have to pay for a new "QHD" monitor in order to drop to 2560x1440 from our long-forgotten 2560x1600.
3x 1920x1080 is cheap enough for most high-end builders (I got my screen for around $120 each), and gives you the advantage of peripheral vision. Gaming is pretty cool in "Surround", a lot of guys even prefer it.