Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
Who would have thought that a racing game would be the first real-world application to prove the performance worth of a six-core CPU? We can’t think of any other reason why our $2000 PC would carve out such a large lead in its High quality preset, other than the added memory bandwidth of the Sandy Bridge-E-based chip's quad-channel controller.
Lending further credence to our theory is the $500 PC’s flat performance across all of its tested resolutions.
Just as I was starting to get a little excited about my $2000 PC's gaming performance, its lead tapered off. What I eventually figured out, after several overclocking tests, was that hitting higher memory frequencies helped improve performance at lower resolutions and the Ultra quality preset.
The $500 PC survives, exceeding our hopes that it would produce at least 50% of the $1000 PC’s performance.