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

Results: Far Cry 3

Next, we look at another threaded DirectX 11 title, Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3, based on the Dunia Engine 2.

I find this game easily playable when frame rates are in the 30s. But if I was gaming on the Core 2 Duo E8400, I’d want to capitalize on the extra performance attainable through overclocking.

Having ventured deep into the single-player campaign on a $500 System Builder Marathon PC (sporting a Pentium G850 processor and Radeon HD 7850 graphics), I found that pairing to be a good match at 1920x1080 using Very High quality settings. In fact, during the following quarter, there was no noticeable performance boost stepping up to Core i5 until I began overclocking the Radeon HD 7850.

However, just as we see here, that dual-core Sandy Bridge-based chip fell short under the increased demands of Ultra quality details. Basically, you are wasting your money buying graphics hardware capable of maximum visuals in this game unless you balance your card out with a processor able to juggle four threads. In this case, both the Core i3-3225 and Core i5-3570K are strong enough to shift the demands back over to our beefy Radeon HD 7970, even with just 2x MSAA enabled.