Results: Arma 3
Arma 3 plays smoothly enough at standard settings that any discussion of FPS is usually academic. It’s still nice to see that the cheap PC is powerful enough to play at 4800x900, while the bigger machines have frames per second to spare at 5760x1080.
This game remains playable on the $600 machine at Ultra quality, but only when overclocked and only up to 1920x1080. Even Mr. Hacksaw’s mighty $1300 machine coughs and sputters at triple-screen resolutions. At this point, our most taxing settings are an exclusive club with a $1600 minimum order.
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.