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Is This Even Fair? Budget Ivy Bridge Takes On Core 2 Duo And Quad

Results: Crysis 3

We use a brutal sequence depicting a worst-case scenario for how these processors handle Crysis 3. The game is so CPU-dependent that we'll start by dropping down to the lowest quality before moving on to more interesting settings.

While you will certainly see higher performance in other areas of this game, you can’t bypass this sequence while playing through the single-player campaign. At the least-demanding settings, not one of our dual-core processors could come close to matching the stock Core 2 Quad Q9550 for playability. We’re not going to condemn dual-core CPUs as unfit based on one game alone, but if this doesn’t improve with a patch of some sort, it's bad news.

Again we need to point out differences between Fraps' reported minimum frame rate and the logged data. In fact, we used this exact data as an example to seek feedback from AMD and Nvidia. While every one of these processors varied from one to three frames per second, the Core i3-3225 experiences a huge 11 FPS difference. The slowest second logged 30 frames, yet the minimum was reported to be 19.

Subjectively, both the Core i5 and Core i3 deliver a fairly smooth experience at these settings. The Q9550 was very playable once we overclocked it, but noticeably slower at stock speeds. Repeating this run two to three times on each dual-core CPU was an almost painful experience.

While I won’t say that the Core i3 or 3.4 GHz Core 2 Quad were completely unplayable, the Core i5-3570K is the only processor I can whole-heartedly recommend for Crysis 3. Very High details demand expensive graphics hardware, and big graphics warrant the balanced platform only a fast quad-core CPU (or higher) can deliver.