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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $600 Gaming PC

Benchmark Results: Crysis And Just Cause 2


We know that we're using the same graphics hardware, so the first thing we notice is that these two machines are in different leagues in terms of their processing performance.

Each configuration is playable at these settings, but it is obvious that Intel's Core i5-2400 eliminates much of the CPU bottleneck evident on the stock and overclocked Phenom II-based setup.

Crysis at Very High quality settings is somewhat of a measuring stick in terms of our little budget system's seriousness. The Radeon HD 6870 is probably the least-powerful card you'd want in order to run these settings at 1920x1080.

Though this quarter's rig carves out a lead at lower resolutions, we see a shift towards GPU limitation as resolutions expand. In the end, either CPU delivers acceptable performance.

Just Cause 2

Results from Just Cause 2 start to mimic those seen in Crysis. The 3.8 GHz Phenom II X4 is holding back the Radeon HD 6870 far more than the Core i5-2400 does.

Enabling 8xAA at the highest detail levels pushes our graphics hardware, and this quarter's machine is unable to beat the former rig running at 3.8 GHz, even at our lowest resolution.

Despite borderline benchmark results, we logged some time playing in the game’s lush foliage and Panau City financial district, confirming that the overclocked Radeon HD 6870 is capable of delivering a good experience at 1920x1080 with 8x AA. Frame rates rarely dip below the average seen here in the Concrete Jungle benchmark.