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Benchmark Results: 3D Games

Five £130 To £195 990FX-Based Socket AM3+ Motherboards
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With the 990FX chipset and FX-8150 CPU reviews behind us, a new platform gives us the opportunity to try new benchmarks. DiRT 3 replaces F1 2010 this time, while Metro 2033 takes over where Crysis left off. StarCraft II brings RTS back to our gaming suite, at least for now.

Asus takes first and second place in DiRT 3, depending on the settings. Higher image quality options tend to shift a greater portion of the game’s load toward a GPU bottleneck.

Asus continues to hold second place in Metro 2033. Consistent second-place finishes are typically more valuable than jumps between first and fourth, as they lend themselves to higher average scores.

Speaking of average scores, we should probably mention that these frame rates do not reflect smooth playability in Metro 2033’s default benchmark map. The minimum performance level was around 19 FPS for all boards at our lowest test settings, though a portion of the test map appears to yield more taxing loads than most gamers typically experience.

StarCraft 2 plays smoothly on a Radeon HD 6950 and FX-8150, regardless of the motherboard or even the test settings chosen. This editor had problems getting consistent performance, however, as the game often reported a series of low FPS readings followed by a series of high FPS readings at the same setting. That range might be narrow enough for broader tests, such as different market levels of graphics cards, but isn’t well-suited for comparing extremely-similar hardware.

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  • 0 Hide
    Silmarunya , 7 November 2011 22:09
    Interesting comparison, but an even more interesting question: who the hell buys a Bulldozer CPU?

    Poor core-per-core performance, relatively high price and excessive power consumption. You know you've failed when your newest 32nm product consumes more power and is outperformed in most benchmarks by its 45nm predecessor.
  • -2 Hide
    technogiant , 8 November 2011 16:04
    I'm sure it's a great article.....but just couldn't bring myself to bother to read it...whats the point of comparing crap with junk?
    AMD have blown it in the higher end desktop space.
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 10 November 2011 09:38
    Why no x8/x8/x8/x8 options on the PCIe?
  • 0 Hide
    doveman , 10 November 2011 21:08
    I need my PC to be quiet, so I want to be able to use 2 3-slot cards (6950 fitted with Accelero Xtreme Plus II coolers) and the only boards that seem to accommodate this and leave a slot between cards for airflow are the Gigabyte (slots 1 and 5) and the MSI (slots 2 and 6. Contrary to what this article says, slot 6 runs at x16 when the middle slot is empty).

    The MSI wins for me because it has the PCI-E x1 slot above slot 2 and until I get my second GPU, I'm going to run my single card in slot 6, where it will get better airflow from my bottom intakes and my TV tuner card in the PCI slot above that. It also has the angled front USB3 header which is a big plus.

    Maybe I'm unusual, but it might be worth considering users who want to use 3-slot cards in future reviews.

    I'd also love to know where I can get the MSI for £130, as it's £150 everywhere I've seen.
  • 0 Hide
    doveman , 10 November 2011 21:35
    Actually, I just found that e-buyer have the MSI for £102, so if anyone wants one get there quick (only 8 left!)
  • 0 Hide
    scarrabri , 22 January 2012 20:05
    Hi i have a new Bulldozer 4100 cpu fitted in to my new Asus Sabertooth 990fx,now i might be used to crap ,but this is rather good ,and very stable ,can someone point me in the right direction as to whats wrong ,with the Bulldozer? as its very quick ,overclocks well,not that i am a good overclocker,.