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Gamers: Do You Need More Than An Athlon II X3?

Average FPS Benchmarks: Single Radeon HD 5850

We begin with the benchmarks showcasing average FPS performance for the Athlon II X3 440 and Core i7-920 systems when a single Radeon HD 5850 is used. Let's look at the results across all four tested resolutions:

The Core i7-920 sports a clear advantage up to 1920x1080. But at 2560x1600 that advantage disappears as the bottleneck is firmly in the hands of the graphics card. At 2560x1600, however, the average FPS is too low to be useful on either system.

But what is the real-world gain here? Remember, results over 60 FPS aren't all that useful with a typical 60 Hz monitor. In this light, the results are much tighter. The advantages that the Core i7-920 brings to the table are largely useless at 1280x1024, where even the Athlon is achieving close to 60 FPS. At 1680x1050, the only realistic advantage might be seen in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat and World in Conflict.

At 1920x1080, the bottleneck moves a little closer to the graphics card subsystem, and we're seeing relatively close results between both platforms. The only sizable lead is taken by the Core i7-920 in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. There is an eight FPS advantage in World in Conflict, and the Crysis results are extremely close, reaffirming our suspicions that graphics are what currently hold us back.