System Builder Marathon: Low-Cost System

Game Benchmarks - First Person Shooters, Continued

There's no nice way to say it: Crysis beats up our low-cost PC. For a menial 30 frames per second average, we need to lower our settings to high detail at 1024x768: Very high detail isn't a viable option at any resolution, unless you want to play at 800x600 or below. It is in the Crysis benchmark where we're likely to see some meaningful gaming differences between the low-cost PC and its mid-range and high-end counterparts.

It is important to note the following, however: These benchmarks only show the high and very high image quality settings for simplicity's sake. The low-cost PC can deliver silky smooth performance when playing Crysis at the 1920x1200 resolution at medium settings, which is still very attractive. In addition, it's our opinion that the great majority of Crysis' visual goodness lies in the 'Shader Quality' setting; with everything else set to medium, and Shader Quality set to 'high', the game looks very close to the high setting and is very playable at 1920x1200 on the low-cost system.

To summarize, while the low-cost system is no Crysis gaming behemoth, it's still a very viable gaming platform for this title.

Now that we've gotten to the tough stuff, let's move on to another game renowned for its ability to bring systems to their knees: Supreme Commander.

  • 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.