Who cares if the Pentium is better in Skyrim? It's just Skyrim!
Who cares if the i5 2400 is better in Batman: Arkham City? It's just Batman: Arkham City!
Who cares if the i5 2400 is better in Civilization V? It's just Civilization V!
Pop over to the gaming scatter, though, and the picture changes dramatically. There, the FX-8350 is the highest-performance AMD desktop processor to date for gaming, finally toppling the venerable Phenom II X4 980. Yet the FX-8350's gaming performance almost exactly matches that of the Core i3-3225, a $134 Ivy Bridge-based processor. Meanwhile, the Core i5-3470 delivers markedly superior gaming performance for less money than the FX-8350. The FX-8350 isn't exactly bad for video games—its performance was generally acceptable in our tests. But it is relatively weak compared to the competition.
This strange divergence between the two performance pictures isn't just confined to gaming, of course. The FX-8350 is also relatively pokey in image processing applications, in SunSpider, and in the less widely multithreaded portions of our video encoding tests. Many of these scenarios rely on one or several threads, and the FX-8350 suffers compared to recent Intel chips in such cases. Still, the contrast between the FX-8350 and the Sandy/Ivy Bridge chips isn't nearly as acute as it was with the older FX processors. Piledriver's IPC gains and that 4GHz base clock have taken the edge off of our objections.
Who cares if it's still behind in gaming? It's just gaming!
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3), Intel Core i5 2500K, Corsair H60, 2x MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr II/OC, G.Skill RipjawsX (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 RAM, OCZ Agility 3 120GB + 2TB, Corsair AX1200, Corsair Carbide 400R
MSI Z68MA-ED55, i5 2500K, Noctua NH-U9B SE2, Inno3D GTX 570, Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB, OCZ Agility 3 120GB + 1TB, Seasonic X660, Lian Li PC-V600FB
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