High-end gaming with ivy bridge i3

SinShiva

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Having trouble finding benchmarks with people using an Ivybridge i3 (3220, for example) and a 660ti, 7950 or better at 1080p. Every time i do find something, they are using a much lower res which I understand to place more load on the cpu than the gpu. I have seen users on various forums using this type of combination, but nil feedback.

I am considering this type of system for myself, but would like to hear feedback for games like BF3, crysis, etc. Looking for: Maxed settings, 1080p, vsync off, 2x MSAA (generally about the same performance loss as 8x CSAA, though i think CSAA looks better and sometimes with less performance loss than 2x MSAA) If 8x CSAA were used, that would be magnificent. Or the ATi variant.

In addition, looking for minimum framerate as well as average. I game at 120hz, so achieving 90fps average at the above settings is ideal for me. I'll settle for ~60, though.


fyi, in games that offer 8x AA AND 8xQ AA, the plain 8x is usually CSAA whereas 8xQ would be MSAA.

Thanks in advance.
 

RamonGTP

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You're not going to average 60, much less 90 fps in BF3 MP with an i3. At least not on a 64 man server.
 

SinShiva

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I wouldn't normally think so, but i am seeing the i3 (ivybridge) beat quad phenoms even in multithreaded applications. Do you have benchmarks to back that up?

[edit] in addition, the benchmarks i've seen were of stock clocked ivy bridge i3s vs 4ghz+ phenoms. [/edit]

[edit2] there's threads even on this forum of people testing their i5 with 2 cores disabled, but afaik the i5 has no hyperthreading. the ivybridge i3, i imagine, would outperform an i5 with 2 cores disabled vs an i3 with 2 cores and hyperthreading on. [/edit]
 
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XTF

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i5 runs at higher clocks and may have turbo. It'd be an interesting benchmark though.
 

SinShiva

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mxOc2P1ju8

BF3 tested on an i3 3220 with an ati7850 with:

1680x1050, ultra, 0xmsaa, 1xaf, hbao on

min 59fps, avg 82fps

the 660ti ~= 7950 is about 50% stronger than the 7850 in synthetics.

I am very interested in benchmarks of a 3220 with a 660ti at 1080p...

again, i'd prefer to see the benchmarks with max settings, 2x msaa/8x csaa (preferred), 16x af at 1080p
 

RamonGTP

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I wouldn't normally think so, but i am seeing the i3 (ivybridge) beat quad phenoms even in multithreaded applications. Do you have benchmarks to back that up?

[edit] in addition, the benchmarks i've seen were of stock clocked ivy bridge i3s vs 4ghz+ phenoms. [/edit]

[edit2] there's threads even on this forum of people testing their i5 with 2 cores disabled, but afaik the i5 has no hyperthreading. the ivybridge i3, i imagine, would outperform an i5 with 2 cores disabled vs an i3 with 2 cores and hyperthreading on. [/edit]

I have an i7 with a 680 that can't do 90fps so an i3+660 surly won't. It's not a matter of if it can play it, sure it can. It's a matter of weather or not it carn reach the fps targets you are aming for. It cannot.
 

Tsumi

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Thing is, BF3 64 player is significantly more CPU intensive than smaller multiplayer or single player. It requires an i5 3570k to be clocked higher than 4 ghz to not bottleneck any GPU setup in 64 player maps.
 

SinShiva

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@ramon

what res and aa level are you using? and what framerates are you getting? from what i've seen, the clock on ivybridge isn't gaining any dramatic amount of fps, only threads. you seem to believe that the ivybridge i3 is weaker than the intel q series. i think you are wrong. i think ib i3s are about 50%+ better than an oc'd Q, whereas a true quad ivybridge (and oc'ed) about doubles it. just like how the ivybridge i3 is stomping amd.

for quad+ cpus, you probably should have waited for next generation. i think ib i3 is the sweet spot this round until next generation hopefully is a substantial increase

[edit] remember, ib i3s are 4 threads, which bf3 seems to take advantage of. [/edit]
 

Dangman

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To help expand your search a bit further, note that the Core i3 3220 is only 5% faster clock for clock than the Core i3 2120. So if you see the Core i3 2120 with the GPU/settings you want, add 5% to the performance and thats the Core i3 3220 give or take 1%. There's about a 9% difference between the Core i3 2100 and Core i3 3220 as well.

But I agree with others that you will need a Core i5 if you actually want to hit those settings at high FPS like you want in games like BF3.

EDIT: RamonGTP hasn't once said the Q series is better than the i3. He hasn't mention those old Q series CPUs at all. So what are you talking about? Plus RamonGTP HAS the Ivy Bridge Core i7 3770K in his sig rig. So he already has the latest generation of Intel quads.
 

SinShiva

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in another thread, somebody is asking if his Q to an IB i7 would make a dramatic increase, which i think is subconsciously altering his opinion. i definitely agree that it would, but i don't think it would be more than a 20-25% difference over an IB i3, even oc'ed.

i am looking at this for reference; http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i3-2100+@+3.10GHz

[edit] i think ultimately, an ib i7 will play comparably to an ib i3 clock for clock, as long as the game is only using 4 threads [/edit]
 

Dangman

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in another thread, somebody is asking if his Q to an IB i7 would make a dramatic increase, which i think is subconsciously altering his opinion. i definitely agree that it would, but i don't think it would be more than a 20-25% difference over an IB i3, even oc'ed.
You're still not making any sense here. What other thread?
Thats a synthetic benchmark. As such, it means absolutely nothing when it comes to real world performance.
[edit] i think ultimately, an ib i7 will play comparably to an ib i3 clock for clock, as long as the game is only using 4 threads [/edit]
Wrong. HT is not a full substitute for a real core. As such, the IB i7 with its four real cores will outperform the Core i3 with its two cores and HT in games that uses more than two threads. Your statement will make sense if we're talking about games that don't use more than two threads.
 

SinShiva

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i would agree with you on HT if we were still talking about bloomfield. I think, however, that hyperthreading has come a long way since even then. I think this is why we aren't seeing unlocked i3s [/conspiracytheory]

[edit] i was referring to this thread, http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1722421 - sorry, not ib [/edit]
 
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Dangman

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I think, however, that hyperthreading has come a long way since even then.
Unless you have proof backing this up, I have to disagree with this statement.

Again we're talking about BF3 here: that Core i3 will provide good performance in that game. However it may not provide the level of performance you want at the settings you've mentioned in multi-player BF3. As such, quad-core Core i5 and Core i7s are needed if you want to be close to your wanted settings and performance level.
 

RamonGTP

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Thing is, BF3 64 player is significantly more CPU intensive than smaller multiplayer or single player. It requires an i5 3570k to be clocked higher than 4 ghz to not bottleneck any GPU setup in 64 player maps.

Exactly this

@ramon

what res and aa level are you using? and what framerates are you getting? from what i've seen, the clock on ivybridge isn't gaining any dramatic amount of fps, only threads. you seem to believe that the ivybridge i3 is weaker than the intel q series. i think you are wrong. i think ib i3s are about 50%+ better than an oc'd Q, whereas a true quad ivybridge (and oc'ed) about doubles it. just like how the ivybridge i3 is stomping amd.

for quad+ cpus, you probably should have waited for next generation. i think ib i3 is the sweet spot this round until next generation hopefully is a substantial increase

[edit] remember, ib i3s are 4 threads, which bf3 seems to take advantage of. [/edit]

1920x1200 and the only AA I'm using is post process at medium. All other settings at maximum. It's really simple, if you're playing the game in its most intense environment, an i3 is not going to average 60-90 fps. Just not going to happen.
 

SinShiva

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i admit that 90fps might be dreaming, but i think 60fps average would be reasonable, which is why i said earlier i'd be willing to settle for it. I didn't say 60fps min, if that's what you were thinking, i just wanted to know what min would be with the ib i3

[edit] i am having trouble finding many people even trying to run games with the ib i3 and a high end gpu. i think i'm gonna buy one when i can just to test, even if it means turning around and picking up an i5 in the end. [/edit]
 

RamonGTP

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It's actually no better than looking at a completely different game. CPU requirments between SP and MP are vastly different and not at all helpful in any way shape or form.

An i3 will certainly get you decent performance, but I think you'll find that the average FPS is going to fall just short of what you're aiming for, at least when it comes to full 64 player servers. Unless you're in the expirementing mood, I'd just go i5 from the start. Besides, BF4 is around the corner and I doubt it will be any less CPU bound.
 

Tsumi

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BF3 multiplayer benchmark numbers: http://www.sweclockers.com/artikel/14650-prestandaanalys-battlefield-3/5#pagehead

The i3 seems pretty similar to a Phenom II quad in many games, but look at the difference between the Phenom II quad and the 2500k in that graph. That should tell you all you need to know.
The i5 will be a lot better than an i3.

Heck, all you would need to see is the FX-8150 actually outdoing the Phenom II x6 to show you how dependent BF3 multiplayer is on more cores.
 

PRogers86

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Speaking from personal experience, my i3 did formidably in most games, except for BF3. Running two GTX 460's with an i3 2120, I got lower minimum frame rates than with my i7 2600k and a single GTX 460. With the i3 2120, I would dip into the 25-35fps range playing 48-64 player BF3. With an i7 and one less GTX 460, I never dip below the 45-50fps range. When I'm running sli again, I doubt I'll dip below 60fps.


The i3 runs single player BF3 awesomely, never getting me below 60fps. Crysis Warhead, Team Fortress 2, Just Cause 2, Skyrim, and most single player games don't get much more (if any) appreciable benefit from an i5 over an i3. But for multiplayer BF3, an i5 or i7 is required to get over 60fps.
 

covertash

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Speaking from personal experience, my i3 did formidably in most games, except for BF3. Running two GTX 460's with an i3 2120, I got lower minimum frame rates than with my i7 2600k and a single GTX 460. With the i3 2120, I would dip into the 25-35fps range playing 48-64 player BF3. With an i7 and one less GTX 460, I never dip below the 45-50fps range. When I'm running sli again, I doubt I'll dip below 60fps.


The i3 runs single player BF3 awesomely, never getting me below 60fps. Crysis Warhead, Team Fortress 2, Just Cause 2, Skyrim, and most single player games don't get much more (if any) appreciable benefit from an i5 over an i3. But for multiplayer BF3, an i5 or i7 is required to get over 60fps.

I have a similar gaming rig as well for my living room consisting of an i3 3225 and a GTX 660 (non Ti version) playing on my 1080p TV. My results more or less are similar in 48-64 player maps in BF3; generally hovering between 40's to high 50's, but can dip into the low 30's when the action gets heavy enough. This is with all graphics options set to Ultra, motion blur off, 2X AA, and SSAO.

For what it's worth, it's not like it's unplayable for me, and not so surprisingly, the i3 holds up quite well in overall gaming compared to my i5 3750K. However, OP, since you are looking to play at 120Hz, and BF3 happens to be one of those games that you are playing, you will want to look towards upping your budget to get at least the i5 - especially if the goal is to get as close as possible to 120fps.
 

Hagrid

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2500K or 3570K OC to 4.3+ and you will be set. Easy as that to make sure you dont have a cpu problem.
 

SinShiva

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I have a similar gaming rig as well for my living room consisting of an i3 3225 and a GTX 660 (non Ti version) playing on my 1080p TV. My results more or less are similar in 48-64 player maps in BF3; generally hovering between 40's to high 50's, but can dip into the low 30's when the action gets heavy enough. This is with all graphics options set to Ultra, motion blur off, 2X AA, and SSAO.

For what it's worth, it's not like it's unplayable for me, and not so surprisingly, the i3 holds up quite well in overall gaming compared to my i5 3750K. However, OP, since you are looking to play at 120Hz, and BF3 happens to be one of those games that you are playing, you will want to look towards upping your budget to get at least the i5 - especially if the goal is to get as close as possible to 120fps.

Thank you. I think the 3220 will suit my purposes, really. For the sake of confirmation, if you lower settings to high or whateveris a stage lower than ultra, do you get roughly the same framerates in a similar mp setting?

[Edit] also, I suppose I should assume that non ti 660 and 660ti get identical framerates in this game?[/edit]

[edit2] think this would reflect in bf3 mp? http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/09/13/asus_geforce_gtx_660_directcu_ii_video_card_review/11 [/edit]
 
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covertash

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Thank you. I think the 3220 will suit my purposes, really. For the sake of confirmation, if you lower settings to high or whateveris a stage lower than ultra, do you get roughly the same framerates in a similar mp setting?

[Edit] also, I suppose I should assume that non ti 660 and 660ti get identical framerates in this game?[/edit]

[edit2] think this would reflect in bf3 mp? http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/09/13/asus_geforce_gtx_660_directcu_ii_video_card_review/11 [/edit]

I just tried a 64 player map with lowered settings to High, and everything else being the same. The framerates now do not dip past 40 fps, and the average hovered around high 50's to mid 60's. So while it did make a difference, it was not a huge one, so the brunt of the performance difference is still dependent on the CPU. But again, the game was still very much playable for me. :cool:

The 660 Ti is generally a tad bit faster:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/660?vs=647

The [H] review you linked above is pretty much spot on for what I am experiencing. For my purposes, I needed something that was less than $250, low-powered, and required only a single 6-pin PCIE connector; so the regular 660 fit the bill perfectly. However, the Ti has the advantage to overclock very well to garner even more performance, over the non-Ti, which generally has really poor overclocking headroom. So it depends where your priorities are when it comes to choosing between the two. ;)
 

SinShiva

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The 660 ti that i am looking at has about a 90mhz factory oc from reference, so i am wondering if that would put the 660ti at around 60fps average on that cpu (the 3220), perhaps with ~40fps min at 1080p. if the 660ti oc could achieve that with the 3220, then i am definitely sold (on the i3 3220, i mean.)
 

Tsumi

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The 660 ti that i am looking at has about a 90mhz factory oc from reference, so i am wondering if that would put the 660ti at around 60fps average on that cpu (the 3220), perhaps with ~40fps min at 1080p. if the 660ti oc could achieve that with the 3220, then i am definitely sold (on the i3 3220, i mean.)

Which would be a definite major step down from your 920 @ 4 ghz.
 

SinShiva

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Which would be a definite major step down from your 920 @ 4 ghz.

I sold it, but i know. i only used it for gaming, though. at the time, it was the best option available. also, my electric bill was nasty from all the smallfft prime95 when i was ocing it. lol.
 

covertash

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The 660 ti that i am looking at has about a 90mhz factory oc from reference, so i am wondering if that would put the 660ti at around 60fps average on that cpu (the 3220), perhaps with ~40fps min at 1080p. if the 660ti oc could achieve that with the 3220, then i am definitely sold (on the i3 3220, i mean.)

That is pretty much the performance I am getting now with my setup. The only difference is the 3225 has a better iGPU - other than that, they are virtually the same CPU. Since you will be pairing up the 3220 with the better 660 Ti, I think you will be very happy with that setup, all while consuming significantly less power than your old Bloomfield. ;)
 

SinShiva

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Thanks, again. the ivy bridge i3 is an impressive chip. are you running with the modest oc at 3.4 over 3.3 ? i assumed at least this much might be possible on the h77 board. if not, so be it.
 

covertash

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Thanks, again. the ivy bridge i3 is an impressive chip. are you running with the modest oc at 3.4 over 3.3 ? i assumed at least this much might be possible on the h77 board. if not, so be it.

No, I'm only running at stock clocks. Sadly, I think the luster of overclocking has long passed me by as all of my machines are running at stock... not very [H] of me, I know... :eek:
 

SinShiva

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Hah, agreed. i think cpus are steadily eliminating the need to oc, though. that said, i had a multi-locked barton, once upon a time, that i essentially flipped a switch to go from '2600' to '3200'. if it's that simple with the ib i3, i'll probably do that much, at least.
 

Dangman

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AFAIK, only the Z77 mobos have overclocking options.
 

Tsumi

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I would really advise you to go Z77 and i5 3570k/2500k now and not have to worry about regretting getting the i3 down the road.
 

Dangman

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@tsumi, I tink i'd rather go i3 and wait for a later 1155 generation

Ivy Bridge is the last generation of CPUs for socket LGA 1155. Intel's Haswell CPUs, due out sometimes between March and June 2013, will be using a different socket altogether.
 

SinShiva

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Ah, damn. Well, like I said. I'll probably use this to hold me over for about a year. By then, I'll likely get an i5 for cheaper if itbecomes a necessity and pass the system along, and start a new build
 

SithSolo1

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No, it won't. It will give you a good idea of how that system performs in single player. No current review in the world tests BF3 multi-player because its non-repeatable and thus worthless for comparison benchmarking between setups or even within the same setup. If you ran the same multi-player map 1000 times in a row with 64 players you would have a different result every time but might be able to formulate some kinda of average. No reviewer is going to do that.

You've got people here who have actually used your proposed setup and say "don't do it, get something else" yet every post you come back trying to convince them they are wrong. If you are going to ignore the overwhelming advice to not get an i3 for BF3 multi-player I don't know why you even asked in the first place.

Like Danny Bui pointed out, socket 1155 is EOL. Fin, Donzo, Adios Muchachos, Dead. Whats out now is all that will ever be released and if you buy an i3 now, you will only be able to upgrade to current i5s or i7s using the same board. Even the lowest i5 at stock would be a big step up because at the end of the day 4 real cores > 2 real cores, 2 wiz-bang-intel-cpu-voodoo cores ;)
 

PRogers86

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Ah, damn. Well, like I said. I'll probably use this to hold me over for about a year. By then, I'll likely get an i5 for cheaper if itbecomes a necessity and pass the system along, and start a new build



As someone who had this plan, I regret now buying an i3 now and then a quad core later. I wound up buying two CPUs instead of one. You can get a used i5 2400 off these forums for about the price of an i3 2120.
 
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