Batman: Arkham City
Now that we've established our evil methods, we can deploy them against Batman. Again, we tested in 90-second sessions, this time while grappling and gliding across the rooftops of Gotham in a bit of Bat-parkour. Again, we're using pretty decent image quality settings at two megapixels; we're just avoiding this game's rather pokey DirectX 11 mode.
In our test session, we're moving rapidly through a big swath of the city, so the game engine has to stream in more detail periodically. You can see the impact in the frame time plots: every CPU shows occasional spikes throughout the test run.
The severity of the spikes is lessened by having a faster CPU, though. Once more, the contrast between plots exposed by the far-left and far-right buttons is instructive.
Although they are very different ways of counting, the FPS average and the 99th percentile frame time largely appear to agree here. One distinction worth making is that the latency-focused metric is a tougher judge. Although the FPS averages range up to almost 90 FPS, the 99th percentile frame times don't reach down to 16.7 milliseconds, so none of the processors provide a near-steady stream of frames at 60 FPS.
The broader latency picture in this test scenario is a good one. That is, frame times remain nice and low up until the last few percentage points, and none of the processors show a "tail" that spikes upward suddenly before the others. Yes, the Intel CPUs are generally quicker, but the differences are fairly minor overall.
In this case, our measure of "badness" provides the real distinction between the faster and slower CPUs. None of the Intel CPUs from the Ivy or Sandy Bridge generations spends any substantial amount of time working on long-latency frames. Even the Core i5-760 avoids crossing the 50-ms threshold for long. The AMD processors, however, all spend at least a tenth of a second in that space—not long in the context of a 90-second test run, to be sure, but enough that one might feel a hitch here or there. We're left to ponder the fact that the flagship FX-8150 doesn't avoid slowdowns as well as a legacy Intel dual-core, ye olde Core i5-655K.
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