Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
At baseline clocks and the Medium quality preset in Battlefield 3, Don's $1000 system surprisingly beats my $2000 machine. That could be due to its Ivy Bridge-based processor, a slightly higher stock CPU frequency, or a combination of both factors.
Overclocking puts the $2000 PC on top, where we'd expect it, perhaps because its graphics card overclocks better. We’ll look for more evidence of a smoking gun as resolution and detail levels are increased.
Faster graphics memory is the $2000 PC’s biggest overclocked advantage over the $1000 build, though its GPU clock is slightly higher, too. My machine maintains its lead through the end of our testing, though the advantage narrows at 2560x1600 using Ultra details.
Paul's $500 PC nearly makes it as far as it was intended to go, barely falling below the target minimum of 40 FPS at 1920x1080 and Ultra quality. It’s close enough that we'd suggest the game's High quality preset should rectify any performance deficiency.