Benchmark Results: Gaming
All three machines deliver playable performance with this first-person shooter, but AVADirect pulls in front playing at the lower-quality setting of 1280x960 with anti-aliasing turned off. With the resolution cranked up to 1920x1200 and 4x AA and the race becomes much tighter, with Alienware’s Area-51 X-58, outfitted with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295—the fastest single videocard in the pack—winning by a hair. As we pointed out in the story, however, that card wasn’t available to the other two vendors when they shipped their rigs.
CyberPower’s Xtreme Gamer, equipped with the fastest CPU but the slowest videocard, manages to open a substantial lead with this game at both low and high detail levels. Alienware comes in second, thanks to its dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295; but with all the computers delivering frame rates in the triple digits, does it really matter who’s best?
World in Conflict is a beautiful real-time strategy game, and you can turn on all the game’s eye candy with any of these rigs, since they all proved capable of delivering 60-plus frames per second at 1920x1200 with very high details, 4x anti-aliasing, and 4x anisotropic filtering turned on. All three delivered triple-digit performances with the image quality dialed back, but AVADirect ekes out a win in both categories, thanks to a videocard that’s faster than what’s in the CyberPower machine, and a CPU that’s faster than what Alienware is offering.
Real-time strategy games typically aren’t benchmark killers, but Supreme Commander is the exception to the rule. This game takes full advantage of quad-core CPUs, so CyberPower—being outfitted with an overclocked Core i7 940—takes a commanding lead here, despite having the weakest videocard of the three contestants. AVADirect and Alienware both use the slower Core i7 920, but the latter takes second place by virtue of its graphics advantage.