As you know, it is the graphics subsystem that determines the performance of the entire platform equipped with pretty high-speed processors in the majority of contemporary games. Therefore, we do our best to make sure that the graphics card is not loaded too heavily during the test session: we select the most CPU-dependent tests and all tests are performed without antialiasing and in far not the highest screen resolutions. In other words, obtained results allow us to analyze not that much the fps rate that can be achieved in systems equipped with contemporary graphics accelerators, but rather how well contemporary processors can cope with gaming workload. Therefore, the results help us determine how the tested CPUs will behave in the nearest future, when new faster graphics card models will be widely available.
During our numerous preceding test sessions we pointed out multiple times that Core i5 processors were a really good fit for gaming systems. And today we are going to stick by this statement again. Highly efficient microarchitecture, quad-core design and high clock frequencies make Core i5 processors really fast in games. And the lack of Hyper-Threading technology may actually become a benefit in games that aren’t that well-optimized for multi-threaded configurations. However, there remain fewer games like that every day, which is exactly what we see from the obtained results. Core i7 processor with Ivy Bridge inside is always faster than similarly designed Core i5 processors in all the diagrams. As a result, the gaming performance of the 3000-series Core i5 CPUs rest where we would expect it to: these processors are undoubtedly better in games than the 2000-series Core i5, and sometimes can even compete successfully against Core i7-2700K. At the same time I would like to point out that the top AMD processor doesn’t stand a chance against contemporary Intel products: its performance lag in games is nothing short of a true catastrophe.
In addition to our gaming tests we would also like to offer you the results of the Futuremark 3DMark11 benchmark (Performance profile):
The synthetic Futuremark 3DMark11 benchmark doesn’t reveal anything new. The performance of the third generation Core i5 processors falls right between that of the previous generation Core i5 and any Core i7 CPUs supporting Hyper-Threading and working at slightly higher clock speeds.