Gaming Performance: 720p And Lower

The reason we test games in CPU reviews at lower resolutions such as 720p and below is simple; titles are more likely to be CPU bound than they are GPU bound at lower resolutions. This means there are more frames for the processor to process as opposed to the graphics card doing the majority of the heavy lifting.

There are some variances where some games will still use graphical power, but not as much CPU grunt at these smaller resolutions, and this is where we can show where CPU limitations lie in terms of gaming.

We are using DDR5 memory on the Core i9-13900K, the Core i5-13600K, the Ryzen 9 7950X, and Ryzen 5 7600X, as well as Intel's 12th Gen (Alder Lake) processors at the following settings:

  • DDR5-5600B CL46 - Intel 13th Gen
  • DDR5-5200 CL44 - Ryzen 7000
  • DDR5-4800 (B) CL40 - Intel 12th Gen

All other CPUs such as Ryzen 5000 and 3000 were tested at the relevant JEDEC settings as per the processor's individual memory support with DDR4.

Civilization VI

(a-1) Civilization VI - 480p Min - Average FPS(a-2) Civilization VI - 480p Min - 95th Percentile

World of Tanks

(b-1) World of Tanks - 768p Min - Average FPS(b-2) World of Tanks - 768p Min - 95th Percentile

Borderlands 3

(c-1) Borderlands 3 - 360p VLow - Average FPS(c-2) Borderlands 3 - 360p VLow - 95th Percentile

Grand Theft Auto V

(e-1) Grand Theft Auto V - 720p Low - Average FPS(e-2) Grand Theft Auto V - 720p Low - 95th Percentile

Red Dead Redemption 2

(f-1) Red Dead 2 - 384p Min - Average FPS(f-2) Red Dead 2 - 384p Min - 95th Percentile

F1 2022

(g-1) F1 2022 - 720p Low - Average FPS(g-2) F1 2022 - 720p Low - 95th Percentile

Hitman 3

(h-1) Hitman 3 - 720p Low - Average FPS(h-2) Hitman 3 - 720p Low - 95th Percentile

Total War: Warhammer 3

(i-1) Total War Warhammer 3 - 720p Low - Average FPS

Cyberpunk 2077

(k-1) Cyberpunk 2077 - 720p Low - Average FPS(k-2) Cyberpunk 2077 - 720p Low - 95th Percentile

Digesting our results at 720p (and lower) resolutions, we can see that things are quite competitive at the top end, especially with the Core i9-13900K and the Core i9-12900KS across most of the games. Some of the games from our testing look to benefit from a different variable, whether that is core count, quality of cores versus core count and frequency; L3 cache size, or a mixture of all three.

In World of Tanks, the majority of the field of processors on test look to be within a certain margin depending on frequency, IPC, and core count. The Ryzen 9 7950X does well here, although the latest Raptor Lake chips seem to be hovering around the levels of performance as the previous 12th Gen Core chips. In Civ VI, the latest AMD Ryzen 7000 and their Zen 4 cores dominate the field, while the 5800X3D and R9 5950X are also competitive. Behind these come the Intel chips with the Core i9-13900K performing the best of those.

Overall, it's a bit of a mixed bag at 720/480p in terms of performance. There are cases where Raptor Lake performs well, but equally, the same can be said for the Ryzen 7000 chips. But ultimately, none of the top chips here have a 95th percentile frame rate lower than 170fps in any action game, while the more unique Civlization 6 never drops 114fps. Which is to say that these high-end CPUs aren't likely to be a gaming performance bottleneck any time soon – getting a GPU that can keep up at higher resolutions is going to be the harder task.

Gaming Performance: iGPU Gaming Performance: 1080p


View All Comments

  • Nero3000 - Thursday, October 20, 2022 - link

    Correction: the 12600k is 6P+4E - table on first page Reply
  • Hixbot - Thursday, October 20, 2022 - link

    I am hoping for an high frequency 8 core i5 with zero ecores and high cache. It's would be a gamer sweet spot, and could counter the inevitable 3d cache Zen 4. Reply
  • nandnandnand - Friday, October 21, 2022 - link

    big.LITTLE isn't going away. It's in a billion smartphones, and it will be in most of Intel's consumer CPUs going forward.

    Just grab your 7800X3D, before AMD does its own big/small implementation with Zen 5.
  • HarryVoyager - Friday, October 21, 2022 - link

    Honestly, I'm underwhelmed by Intel's current big.LITTLE setup. As near as I can tell, under load the E cores are considerably less efficient than the P cores are, and currently just seem to be there so Intel can claim multi-threading victories with less die space.

    And with the CPU's heat limits, it just seems to be pushing the chip into thermal throttling even faster.

    Hopefully future big.LITTLE implementations are better.
  • nandnandnand - Friday, October 21, 2022 - link

    Meteor Lake will bring Redwood Cove to replace Golden/Raptor Cove, and Crestmont to replace Gracemont. Gracemont in Raptor Lake is the same as in Alder Lake except for more cache, IIRC. All of this will be on "Intel 4" instead of "Intel 7", and the core count might be 8+16 again.

    Put it all together and it should have a lot of breathing room compared to the 13900K(S).

    8+32 will be the ultimate test of small cores, but they're already migrating on down to the cheaper chips like the 13400/13500.
  • Hixbot - Saturday, October 22, 2022 - link

    Yes it does seem backwards that the more efficient architecture is in the P core. Reducing power consumption for light tasks seems better to keep it on the P core and downclock. I don't see the point of the "e" cores as effiency, but rather academic multithreaded benchmark war. Which isn't serving the consumer at all. Reply
  • deil - Monday, October 24, 2022 - link

    E is still useful, as you get 8/8 cores in space where you could cram 2/4. I agree E for efficiency should be B as background to make it clearer what's the point. They are good for consumers as they offer all the high speed cores for main process, so OS and other things dont slow down.
    I am not sure if you followed, but intel cpu's literally doubled in power since they appeared, and at ~25% utilization, cpu's halved power usage. What you should complain about is bad software support, as this is not something that happens in the background.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, October 24, 2022 - link

    I don't think you are fully grasping the results of the benchmarks. Compute/Rendering scores prove that e-cores can tackle heavy work loads. Often trading blows with AMD's all P-Core 7950X, and costing less at the same time. AMD needs to lower all prices immediately. Reply
  • haoyangw - Monday, October 24, 2022 - link

    That's an oversimplification actually, P-cores and E-cores are both efficient, just for different tasks. The main efficiency gain of P-cores is it's much much faster than E-cores for larger tasks. Between 3 and 4GHz, P-cores are so fast they finish tasks much earlier than e-cores so total energy drawn is lower. But E-cores are efficient too, just for simple tasks(at low clockspeeds). Below 3GHz and above 1GHz, e-cores are much more efficient, beating P-cores in performance while drawing less power.

  • Great_Scott - Friday, November 25, 2022 - link

    Big.LITTLE is hard to do, and ARM took ages and a lot of optimization before phone CPUs got much benefit from it.

    The problem of the LITTLE cores not adding anything in the way of power efficiency is well-known.

    I'm saddened that Intel is dropping their own winning formula of "race-to-sleep" that they've successfully used for decades for aping something objectivly worse because they're a little behind in die shrinking.

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