Metro Last Light and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Metro Last Light
I chose not to enable tesselation for this benchmark, as this game really struggles with consistent frame rates (observe the low minimums) as it is. I continued to use a "High" preset and selected the lowest AA available with the benchmark tool, which was 4x.
First we have results in order of GPU:
While the GTX 980/i7-4790K combo had the highest average FPS result, the R9 290X with the same CPU did provide a better experience with much higher minimum FPS numbers. Overall the CPUs tested scaled as expected with the two high-end GPUs, and the results with mid-range and low-end cards also showed scaling by CPU.
Now we look at 1440p results.
Another example of the i5-4440 taking the lead over the the i7-4790K, which if anything indicates that (for DX11 gaming anyway) you probably don't need a Core i7 with a single GPU (we'll see if that remains true through the next GPU generation).
Scaling by CPU is still evident with even the low-end cards, but the i3-4130 results with the R7 260X make no sense and suggest a problem with those results.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
We start with the GPU-sorted results again here.
Once again scaling is evident with the two high-end GPUs, and far less important with the lower-power GPUs. This is an example of where the bottleneck is with a more GPU-bound game, and clearly even a single R9 290X/GTX 980 need a lot of CPU horsepower to perform at their best.
Now the 1440p results.
What is this? The i3-4130 can't possibly be this good, right? Somehow it has managed to top the Core i7 more than once in these benchmarks, and it confuses me. Did I secretly overclock the i3-4130 to skew the results? Did I lose all grip on reality during the 6 months of sleepless nights spent benchmarking? I may never know.
Now these results in their natural order: