Ultimate DIY Performance PC: EVGA & Intel Infused

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Gaming: Crysis, ETQW, HAWX

For our next set of tests, we moved on to some in-game benchmarking with Crysis and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. When testing processors with Crysis or ET:QW, we drop the resolution to 800x600, and reduce all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible.  However, the in-game effects, which control the level of detail for the games' physics engines and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU.

Low-Resolution Gaming: Crysis and ET: Quake Wars
Taking the GPU out of the Equation


Somewhat surprisingly, the EVGA Classified SR-2 / Dual Xeon 5680 combo just missed the mark set by the Core i7 980X in our low-res gaming tests. We suspect these scores are a result of two thing--first, the games aren't capable of fully taxing all of the processor resources available. And second, there is likely some additional overhead introduced by data having to be shared between two processors and memory controllers. Regardless, the scores are still excellent.

High-Resolution Gaming: Crysis and HAWX
Taxing The GPUs

For this next round of game tests, we abandoned the singe GeForce GTX 280 in favor of a pair of GeForce GTX 480s running in SLI mode. We wanted to throw an ultra-powerful pair of graphics card in the system to see how it would behave while gaming at very high resolutions and image quality settings. Here, we compared the EVGA Classified SR-2 / dual Xeon 5680 combo to a Core i7 980X in a couple of graphically intense games.

The high-resolution game tests seem to jibe with our low-res tests above, but for a different reason. When a game is limited by the graphics subsystem, or is 'GPU-bound', peak performance is determined by the graphics card's capabilities. And that's what we're seeing here.

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