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Benchmark Results: Fallout 3

Part 3: Building A Balanced Gaming PC
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What does it mean to build a truly-balanced PC? How great would it be to piece together a machine bottlenecked by neither CPU or GPU? We set forth to measure the perfect balance in seven different games and four resolutions in this third of many parts.

Fallout 3

In Fallout 3, we use FRAPS to benchmark a 60 second run through our “Capital Wasteland” saved game. For smoother combat sequences, we’ll again keep the target at 40 FPS in this action RPG. There was no problem cranking details to maximum, while also enabling 4x AA and 15x AF to further enhance the gaming experience.

There’s a clear GPU limitation at a very playable 70 FPS for the Radeon HD 5750, but all the other graphics cards look fairly CPU-limited. The Core i7 and i5 processors lead the way, followed by the E8400 and Q9550. The Pentium E6300 brings up the rear, but doesn’t fair all too badly at 80+ FPS.

A little more GPU limitation is evident at 1680x1050. Averaging nearly 60 FPS, the cheapest configuration is still very playable, though.

Not a lot changes at 1920x1200, although the dual-GPU cards now sit alone at the top of the scale when paired with the Core i5 or i7 processors. Once again, the Pentium E6300 + Radeon HD 5750 deliver the most affordable solid gaming experience of our tested platforms.

All of the single-GPU cards are limiting performance and fall far shy of their dual-GPU siblings. Minimum framerates below 30 FPS and average framerates below 40 mean we have exceeded the capabilities of the Radeon HD 5750. The GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon HD 4890 both remain well above our performance target.

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  • 1 Hide
    mi1ez , 12 May 2010 20:10
    No links from P5 to P6?
    Fail!
  • 1 Hide
    evolvedpc , 13 May 2010 01:04
    It would be really good for those of us who have already read the previous articles in this series to have a "cut to the chase" summary, that tells us which parts are different. There is so much copy-paste that it's hard to find the new stuff.
  • 1 Hide
    ksampanna , 13 May 2010 04:02
    It seems this was edited a few months back, but posted now.
  • 1 Hide
    chispas , 13 May 2010 07:26
    Looks like the moral of the story is......buy a 5870.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , 11 June 2010 17:57
    Quote:
    Socket [bAM3: Asus M4N82 Deluxe

    The Asus M4N82 Deluxe will be put to use when it comes time to test dual GeForce cards in SLI paired up to our Socket AM3 processors.
    [/b]

    Socket AM2+, I think.

    Amazing what you can get for your money in terms of CPU power, from both camps.
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 28 June 2010 16:47
    reported