Intel's Core 2 Extreme & Core 2 Duo: The Empire Strikes Backby Anand Lal Shimpi on July 14, 2006 12:00 AM EST
- Posted in
CPU Bound Gaming Performance
While we always try to run our gaming benchmarks in CPU reviews as a balance between being CPU and GPU bound, there is some merit to using CPU bound gaming scenarios as a true measure of the gaming power of a CPU.
The previous pages of gaming benchmarks were run at 1600 x 1200, which struck a good balance between being CPU and GPU bound on our CrossFire setup but here we’re looking at exactly how good of a gaming CPU the Core 2 Duo is. By running these tests at 640 x 480 with the same CrossFire setup as before we’re ensuring that the performance bottlenecks in these titles shift as far as possible from the GPU and onto the CPU.
These tests aren’t designed to tell you how fast these CPUs are at running these games, but rather how quickly they can run through the physics and AI code when not waiting on the graphics card at all.
We chose to look at two CPUs: the Core 2 Extreme X6800 and the Athlon 64 FX-62, to get an idea of how strong each architecture was at pure physics/AI processing in games. We also omitted any games whose performance didn’t change by dropping the resolution from 1600 x 1200 to 640 x 480 (meaning that those games were already predominantly CPU limited in our previous tests).
|CPU||Quake 4||HL2 Ep 1||F.E.A.R.||BF2|
|AMD Athlon 64 FX-62||156.7||170.0||164.0||108.7|
|Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800||192.5||263.5||236.0||142.3|
In terms of sheer ability to process physics and AI as well as feed a hungry graphics subsystem, Intel's Core 2 Extreme X6800 is anywhere between 22 and 55% faster than AMD's Athlon 64 FX-62.
While this doesn't mean much for real world gaming, it does cement the fact that Intel's Core 2 processor is significantly faster at the type of code current 3D games will throw at it. The very same benchmarks that Intel used to complain about favoring AMD, now favor Intel just as much; oh how times have changed.