I mentioned this in the benchmark thread (the one that is now more than five pages deep thanks to all the 90000 and 1017 panic), but if you are not getting as good of performance as you expected from a very good video card, there is a good probability that your processor is the bottleneck. Now I have evidence.
Tonight I upgraded from a 2 year old AMD Phenom II x4 to a Core i7 4770K (necessitating a motherboard upgrade at the same time as well, of course.) All other bits of hardware in the system remained the same:
- Radeon HD 7770
- 16 GB RAM (DDR3 1333)
- 120 GB SSD with an addition 1TB 7200 platter drive
- Windows 8 (I'm a *********)
- All existing case wiring, cables, PSU, etc.
- Both motherboards were gaming MSI "military grade" (whatever that means), just the old one was socket AM3 and this new one is LG 1150 or w/e the core i7 stuff is.
My "Exploration" benchmark score jumped from around 3,000 on Maximum to just over 6,000. Medium went from about 4500 to 10549 (this is about what Yoshi P's gaming laptop showed during a demo last spring.)
Other folks have reported better performance with the Core i7 processors compared with their AMD counterparts. While the upgrade in this case was from a two year old mid range AMD to a two month old upper mid range Intel, the difference in the benchmark alone is pretty stark.
Can't wait to see what the game is like now!