System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $1,600 Alternative PC

Results: F1 2012 And Skyrim

F1 2012’s proven memory bottleneck appears to give way to CPU overhead in the CrossFire-equipped $1,600 PC, where the extra card monopolizes additional CPU resources. The expensive system shines at 5760x1080, but the cheaper single-card solution proves itself more than adequate at the same settings.

An upgrade to stereo-capable displays would appear to be the only reason to splash out for an extra card in this title.

The $1,600 PC’s extra graphics power pushes the system's CPU limits in Skyrim at anything less than Eyefinity-inspired resolutions. The single-card $1,000 PC remains adequate, if barely, through 5760x1080.