System Builder Marathon: Low-Cost System

Game Benchmarks - First Person Shooters

Even though we don't have any other systems to compare this data to yet, the game benchmarks can offer us some solid data about how well the low-cost system can handle games at different settings and resolutions.

Let's start off with Prey, based on ID's much lauded Doom3 engine. Prey is quite a bit more demanding than Doom3 so let's see how well the low-cost PC handles it:

Not too shabby! Not too shabby at all. Prey is silky smooth at 1920x1200, demonstrating an average 71 frames per second! When 4xAA is applied, the frame rate does drop down a bit, but it's still quite playable at this very high resolution. The sub-$1000 PC is looking very good so far!

Let's move on to another popular first person shooter, Unreal Tournament 3:

Unreal was benchmarked without anti-aliasing enabled due to hardware limitations, but this gorgeous game engine played extremely well on the low-cost PC. Once again, even 1920x1200 is a viable resolution on this relatively inexpensive PC.

But we've been easy on the low-cost system until now, because we're about to benchmark the most demanding first person shooter devised by man, Crysis.

  • romulus47plus1
    Paying $230 for a 3870?
    Get the 8800GT for that price!
  • Retrogame
    The $500-$700 system is more important than you realize: it's an extremely important price point in the "Consoles vs. PC wars"

    For about $500, you can buy a top of the line current generation PS3 or XBox 360 with a few accessories.

    Of course, there are always games better on one platform than the other; and naturally, your PC is a lot more versatile; i.e. it's a "REAL COMPUTER!" Even so, it's nice to know that you can actually put together a low cost machine, overclock it a smidgen, and still run this games representative of this year's crop of PC titles... and if you were to actually scale down the graphics settings to the same level that the consoles would be running things at, probably end up with better frame rates and the advantage of using a nice monitor instead of a TV.