As you know, it is the graphics subsystem that determines the performance of the entire platform in the majority of contemporary games if the platform has a fast enough processor. Therefore, we select the most CPU-dependent games and measure the frame rate in two test modes. For the first mode we use lower resolutions and disable full-screen antialiasing, so we could see how well the processor can cope with gaming loads in general. This provides some insight into how the tested CPU is going to behave in the nearest future when it is accompanied with faster graphics cards. The second test mode refers to real-life settings: Full HD and maximum FSAA. In our opinion, these results are no less interesting as they demonstrate clearly the level of performance we can expect from contemporary processors today.
For this test session we’ve built a very fast graphics subsystem by combining two AMD Radeon R9 290X cards into a CrossFireX tandem. That's why some games are limited by the CPU even at the Full-HD resolution.
Full-HD with maximum visual quality settings:
We’ve added a few more games to our standard list to see how beneficial multicore CPUs are for gaming configurations. The results are ambiguous, though. The Haswell-E series are better than the Devil’s Canyon in some games but worse in others. Frankly speaking, the 8-core Haswell-E isn’t the optimal choice for a gaming computer because today’s games have only started to be optimized for quad-core CPUs. Eight cores would be useless for them. In most games the quad-core Devil’s Canyon with a high clock rate beats the 8-core i7-5960X as well as the 6-core i7-5930K and i7-5820K. Neither the large L3 cache nor the quad-channel DDR4 SDRAM can save the day for the Haswell-E series. Thus, the LGA2011-v3 platform is too expensive and less efficient than its alternative when it comes to gaming.
We should remind you that we use two CrossFireX-linked graphics cards in our today’s tests and still can’t see any benefits from the Haswell-E series. For example, the LGA1150 platform has its PCIe 3.0 slots working at a speed of 8x/8x, yet it doesn’t prevent the Core i7-4790K from winning the gaming tests. That’s why the capability of the senior LGA2011-v3 CPUs to support 16x/16x graphics configurations is hardly an important advantage as it doesn’t provide tangible practical benefits. The Core i7-5820K with a cut-down PCIe controller is actually as good as the more expensive Core i7-5930K. You can use the former with multi-GPU graphics subsystems without losing anything in terms of speed, especially if you take its overclocking potential into account.