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Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Most of our performance tests are scripted and repeatable, but Battlefield: Bad Company 2, we used the Fraps utility to record frame rates while playing a 60-second sequence from the game. Although capturing frame rates while playing isn't precisely repeatable, we tried to make each run as similar as possible to all of the others. We raised our sample size, testing each Fraps sequence five times per CPU in order to counteract any variability. We've included second-by-second frame rate results from Fraps, and in that case, you're seeing the results from a single, representative pass through the test sequence.

Looks like frame rates are topping out here around 90 FPS no matter what, perhaps due to our video card hitting its performance limits, but three of the four Sandy Bridge processors reach that threshold, and again, the lowly Core i5-2400 is outdoing much more expensive siblings such as the Core i7-875K. Realistically, in this game as in many others, you can get by with much less processor than a Sandy Bridge—even the Core 2 Quad Q9400 has no trouble pushing a 60 FPS average. Then again, the very fastest Phenom II X6 isn't any faster than the Core i3-2100—and the i3-2100 has a higher minimum FPS.