Benchmarks: CPU Performance
The top 10 processors that we tested were all Intel with the fastest AMD processor, the FX-9590, being beaten by a Haswell Core i3 and dominated by a Skylake Core i3. Worse still, the FX-8350 was almost 30% slower than the Core i5-2500K and a little over 30% slower than the Core i5-4690K.
Fallout 4 requires at least four threads, dual-core processors such as the Pentium G3258 and Celeron G1820 really struggled. The FX-4320 also really struggled, though this dual-core chip has four threads to work with and that helped boost the minimum frame rate.
The Core i7-6700K delivered similar performance at 4.0GHz as it did at 4.5GHz, suggesting we hit a GPU bottleneck with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti at these speeds. Reducing the clock speed to 3.5GHz saw an instant reduction in performance and this was again seen at 3.0GHz. However, reducing the clock speed as low as 2.5GHz had a catastrophic impact on performance, with the 6700K becoming almost 40% slower when going from 3GHz to 2.5GHz.
We already know the FX-9590 doesn't perform well in Fallout 4, but how does it scale? As expected, the more MHz the better. Keep in mind, by default it runs higher than our frequency range for the scaling test, but we assume if you can run as high as 6GHz you would still see reasonable performance gains, as we know the GTX 980 Ti can go as high as 116fps.
Before wrapping things up we thought it would be interesting to see how the dual-core G3258 perfoms once pushed past the default 3.2GHz operating frequency, which yielded poor results. As you can see at 4.5GHz the performance is considerably better, and while not great, a minimum of 40fps would make it fast enough when coupled with a slower graphics card. Interestingly clock for clock at 4.5GHz the G3258 is just 6% slower than the FX-9590 when comparing the average frame rate and 23% slower when comparing the minimum frame rate.