Metro 2033

Our first analysis is with the perennial reviewers’ favorite, Metro 2033. It occurs in a lot of reviews for a couple of reasons – it has a very easy to use benchmark GUI that anyone can use, and it is often very GPU limited, at least in single GPU mode. Metro 2033 is a strenuous DX11 benchmark that can challenge most systems that try to run it at any high-end settings. Developed by 4A Games and released in March 2010, we use the inbuilt DirectX 11 Frontline benchmark to test the hardware at 1440p with full graphical settings. Results are given as the average frame rate from a second batch of 4 runs, as Metro has a tendency to inflate the scores for the first batch by up to 5%.

One 7970

Metro 2033 - One 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

With one 7970 at 1440p, every processor is in full x16 allocation and there seems to be no split between any processor with 4 threads or above. Processors with two threads fall behind, but not by much as the X2-555 BE still gets 30 FPS. There seems to be no split between PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 2.0, or with respect to memory.

Two 7970s

Metro 2033 - Two 7970s, 1440p, Max Settings

When we start using two GPUs in the setup, the Intel processors have an advantage, with those running PCIe 2.0 a few FPS ahead of the FX-8350. Both cores and single thread speed seem to have some effect (i3-3225 is quite low, FX-8350 > X6-1100T).

Three 7970s

Metro 2033 - Three 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

More results in favour of Intel processors and PCIe 3.0, the i7-3770K in an x8/x4/x4 surpassing the FX-8350 in an x16/x16/x8 by almost 10 frames per second. There seems to be no advantage to having a Sandy Bridge-E setup over an Ivy Bridge one so far.

Four 7970s

Metro 2033 - Four 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

While we have limited results, PCIe 3.0 wins against PCIe 2.0 by 5%.

One 580

Metro 2033 - One 580, 1440p, Max Settings

From dual core AMD all the way up to the latest Ivy Bridge, results for a single GTX 580 are all roughly the same, indicating a GPU throughput limited scenario.

Two 580s

Metro 2033 - Two 580s, 1440p, Max Settings

Similar to one GTX580, we are still GPU limited here.

Metro 2033 conclusion

A few points are readily apparent from Metro 2033 tests – the more powerful the GPU, the more important the CPU choice is, and that CPU choice does not matter until you get to at least three 7970s. In that case, you want a PCIe 3.0 setup more than anything else.

CPU Benchmarks GPU Benchmarks: Dirt 3


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  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Who actually buys a computer and does nothing but game on it every second they are on it? That's why the A8-5600k should not be the recommended cpu. Just gonna drag you down in every other thing you do with the computer. The i5-2500k should be here too. You can get them for a STEAL on ebay used I've seen them go for around 140-150. Sure you can pay 100-110 on ebay for the a8-5600k is a 40 dollar savings worth that much performance loss? Reply
  • TheJian - Sunday, June 09, 2013 - link

    I didn't even go into this aspect (it's not just about gaming as you say clearly). But thanks for making the other 1/2 of my argument for me :)

    Your statement plus mine makes this whole article & it's conclusions ridiculous. Most people buy a PC and keep it for over 3yrs, meaning you'll be punished for a LONG time every day in everything you do (gaming, ripping, rar, photos etc etc). AMD cpu's currently suck for anyone but very poor people. Even for the poor, I'd say save for another month or two as $50-100 changes the world for years for your computing no matter what you'll use it for. Or axe your vid card for now and by a higher end intel. Survive for a bit until you can afford a card to go into your machine. AMD just isn't worth it for now on desktops. I'm an AMD fan, but the computing experience on Intel today is just better all around if you ever intend on putting in a discrete card worth over say $100 and this comment only gets worse as gpu's improve leaving your cpu behind.

    You will get more cpu limited every year. Also it's much easier to change gpu's vs cpu's (which usually requires a new board for substantial gains unless you really buy on the low-end). Having said that, buying low-end haswell today gets you a broadwell upgrade later which should yield some decent gains since it's 14nm. Intel is just hard to argue against currently and that is unfortunate for AMD since the bulk of their losses is CPU related and looks to just get worse (the gpu division actually made ~15mil or so, while cpu side lost 1.18B!). Richland changes nothing here, just keeps the same audience it already had for total losses. They need a WINNER to get out of losses. Consoles may slow the bleeding some, but won't fix the losses. Steamroller better be 30-40% faster (10-20% is not enough, it will again change nothing).
  • firefreak111 - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Quote: What we see is 30.73% of gamers running at 1080p, but 4.16% of gamers are above 1080p. If that applies to all of the 4.6 million gamers currently on steam, we are talking about ~200,000 individuals with setups bigger than 1080p playing games on Steam right now, who may or may not have to run at a lower resolution to get frame rates.

    Wrong. 2.91% is 1200p (1080p at a 16:10 ratio), which is barely higher resolution. 1.25% are truly above 1440p, a much smaller number. ~57 000 gamers compared to 1,380,000 gamers... I respect 1440p, getting a new system to play at that res, but the mainstream isn't any time soon.

    I wish I could take this article seriously. You choose 4 games to recommend a CPU (Metro 2033, GPU Bound, Dirt 3, racing game focused on graphics, Civ V, which you knock off as unimportant based on FPS not turn times (which is all anyone really cares about in the late-game) and Sleeping Dogs, which is Open World but doesnt have complex scripting or AI.) and then choose AMD based on 3/4 of the games which are GPU bound and thus not favoring the faster Intel CPU's much?

    FPS will only get you so far. Smoothness will be better on the faster CPU's. Anyway, most importantly, if you want to have a serious article with a good recommendation, how about testing CPU bound modern games? Shogun 2, mass AI calculations for many units combined with complex turn times (which is very important in any turn based game). Skyrim, with actually complex AI and large amounts of scripting, which uses the CPU to its utmost. Crysis 3, a good test for a balance of CPU and GPU focus. BF3 Multiplayer, which from personal experience needs a good CPU to play well.

    Use Nvidia and AMD GPU's, one could favor the other leading to a better recommendation (This brand for this CPU). Civ V will see large performance gains on a Nvidia card combined with a good CPU, due to its use of deferred contexts (dx11 multithreading) and Nvidia's support of it (AMD seriously needs to step up and support it, most game engines aren't because AMD isn't. Its built into DX11, so support it AMD!).

    Lastly, recommend for the mainstream. 1080p is the mainstream. Not 1440p+, which is 1.25% of steam players, 1080, which is more than 30%.
  • CiccioB - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    I wonder what's the meaning of conducting such a big effort like this to test CPU performances and then making all the systems GPU bottlenecked just to take into consideration 4% of the gaming population.
    Moreover, some test done with an "old" GTX580 which bottlenecks in those resolution quite soon.

    I renew my request of updating the list of games used and using most "popular" video settings in order to make a real comparison of what a gamer may find using the usual setup it may use at home. Monitor bigger than 24" are not popular at all.
    Maybe an integration with a SLI/Tri SLI setup and a 5800x resolution may be added, but surely that should not be considered the way things work normally and taken a sdefinitive benchmark results to get some obviously confusing conclusions.
    An A10-xxxx is way way behind any i5 CPU, and often even behind some i3 in realgaming. I can't really understand how one can believe in such a suggestion.
    I am starting to think that something else rather than objective results are being created and shown here.
  • TheJian - Sunday, June 09, 2013 - link

    AMD only visited ONE website in recent history. ANANDTECH.

    Also note they pushed this 1440p idea when the numbers were EVEN WORSE in the 660TI article comments section (and even the articles conclusions, we're talking 9 months ago - 1440p is STILL not popular nor above it). See Ryan's exchange in that article with me. He was pushing the Korean Ebay dude then...ROFL. I pointed out then that amazon only had 2 people selling them and they had no reviews (ONE, which was likely the guy that owned the place selling it), no support page, no phone, and their website wasn't even their own domain and email was a gmail address if memory serves. Essentially giving your CC# to some dude in Korea and praying. Which another site mentioned he did pray when ordering a test unit...LOL Techreport's 1440p korean review back then if memory serves. Yet Ryan claimed everyone in the forums was doing this...Whatever... Don't even get me started on Jared's personal attack while ignoring my copious amounts of data proving Ryan's article BS even with using Ryan's own previous article's benchmarks! It's kind of hard to argue against your own data right?

    I sincerely hope this site goes back to producing articles on cpu/gpu that are worthy of reading. These days all they do is hide AMD's inadequacies vs. Intel and NV. They are the only site saying things like "buy an A8-5600 for any SINGLE gpu machines"...I can't believe how far they've gone in the last 9 months. Their traffic stats show I'm not alone. The comments here show I'm not alone. AMD can't be paying them enough to throw their whole reputation down the drain. Look what the Sysmark/Bapco/Van Smith scandal did to Tomshardware (Tom even changed all his bylines to "tom's staff" or some crap like that). He had to sell at far less than the site was worth before the damage, and it took years to get back to a better reputation and wash off the stink. Heck I stopped reading in disgust for years and many IT friends did the same. I mean they were running Intel ads in AMD review articles...LOL. I think that is just wrong (the van smith stuff was just unconscionable). For those who remember Van, he still writes occasionally at (I only recently discovered this, also writes on vanshardware but not much analysis stuff). Good to see that.
  • Pjotr - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    What happened to the Q9400 in the GPU charts, it's missing? No, I didn't read the full article. Reply
  • HappyHubris - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    I know this was addressed in the article, but no 2013 gaming part recommendation should be published based on average FPS.

    Any Ivy Bridge i3 mops the floor with a 5800K, and I'd imagine that Sandy-based i3s would do so even cheaper.

    Kudos on an article that includes older processors,'s nice to see more than 1 or 2 generations in a review.
  • ArXiv76 - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Having read technical articles, white papers and tech reviews for over 25 years I can't remember ever reading a "finding perfection" examination. My hypothesis is, does there exist a CPU(all CPU's tested) to GPU(all OEM's tested) mix that is ideal. Obviously speed is king so I am thinking more from an engineering perspective.
    Does this exist?

    Steam and EA online are both great services. If there is a service that takes away physical media it's a huge winner to me. I still have my piles Sierra game boxes stored away.
  • bigdisk - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Oh, Anand / Ian Cutress

    You really shouldn't put your benchmark title and settings within an image. You absolutely want this as text in the page for SEO.

    Cheers, good article.
  • majorleague - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Here is a youtube link showing 3dmark11 and windows index rating for the 4770k 3.5ghz Haswell. Not overclocked.
    This is apparently around 10-20fps slower than the 6800k in most games. And almost twice the price!!
    Youtube link:

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