Gaming Performance using F.E.A.R. & Rise of Legends

Our F.E.A.R. test should be fairly familiar by now, as it is the built in performance test included with the game. Computer settings were left at "Maximum" while the graphics settings were set to "High" with the resolution cranked up to 1600 x 1200. F.E.A.R. ends up still being more GPU than CPU bound at these settings, even with a pair of X1900 XTs at its disposal, but we do see some separation among the processors:

Gaming Performance - F.E.A.R. v1.03

The top three spots still go to the top three Core 2 CPUs, with the E6300 falling around the level of the X2 4600+. A trend that we've been seeing all throughout this review is that the performance of these CPUs effectively falls into three groups: Core 2 processors at the top, Athlon 64 X2s in the middle and Pentium D at the very bottom of the charts. In a sense that's the easiest way to classify these three groups of processors: if you want the fastest it's Core 2, mid-range goes to the Athlon 64 X2 and if you don't like good performance there's always the Pentium D.

Rise of Legends is a newcomer to our game benchmark suite and what an excellent addition it is. This Real Time Strategy game looks very good and plays well too; it serves as good filler until the next Command & Conquer title eventually arrives for those looking for a RTS fix. We ran with the resolution set to 1600 x 1200 and the graphics settings set to the medium defaults. We recorded a custom playback of a 3 vs. 2 multiplayer battle and played it back at 4x speed, recording the average frame rate for 10 minutes of the battle. The 10 minutes we focused on contained a good mix of light skirmishes between opponents, base/resource management with very few characters on the screen and of course some very large scale battles.

Gaming Performance - Rise of Legends v1.0

As with most RTSes, Rise of Legends is extremely CPU bound. The performance variability between runs was fairly high in this test, mainly because of how disk intensive the playback can get. Differences in performance of up to 5% should be ignored, but the standings are correct - the Core 2 line of processors absolutely demolish the competition: you're looking at true next-generation CPU performance here. The E6300 isn't nearly as impressive when compared to its more expensive siblings, but when you compare it to AMD's lineup it looks very good, especially considering its proposed cost.

Gaming Performance using Quake 4, Battlefield 2 & Half Life 2 Episode 1 Gaming Performance using Oblivion
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  • Calin - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    A very good part of what Intel makes (processor wise) goes to mainstream and lower-than-mainstream performance (Celeron-like chips). There might be, in the end (of the year), enough production of Core2 to fill the enthusiast/retail market.
    Indeed, the Netburst are obsolete over night...
    Reply
  • xFlankerx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Not just Netburst, even the Athlon 64s are obsolete now.

    With the Pentium 4 vs. Athlon 64 debate, atleast there were moments when going with the Pentium 4 could be justified. However, because of the huge difference in performance and prices of the Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 processors, I think it would be foolish to go for a new Athlon 64 system right now (unless ofcourse you're on a tight budget).
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Yes, Pentium4 was better in so-called media benchmarks, and there were some uber-optimized application that were flying on Pentium4.
    Right now, there are (as stated in article) three competitors: Core2Duo at high price, performance and low power, Athlon64 X2 at lower price, performance and a bit higher power, and PentiumD at dumping prices, even lower performance and quite a bit higher power. It all depends on how much money you would invest.
    I am thinking at a single core Core2, and integrated video mainboard with ATI or NVidia chipset - or a Sempron AM2 3000+. I wonder how cheap a Core2 Solo would be
    Reply
  • Squidward - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Agreed, an excellent review, I loved Anand's anologies about the dinner table. I get the feeling he may have been thinking Arby's (tm) when he wrote this review. :)

    My goodness does Intel's new lineup impress. I've been using AMD ever since the K6/2 days and was planning on getting an X2 soon, but this review has made me decide to wait it out just a little bit longer.

    Great article guys, keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Not just Netburst, even the Athlon 64s are obsolete now

    I'd say that the A64 X2s are still quite competitive, depending on your budget and availability of the C2Ds.
    That said, Intel has done a magnificent job with these chips!
    It looks like Conroe will own the high end market until AMD can release K8L...but judging by the review, AMD will own the low end. I can't see anyone buying a PD once AMD drops the prices, nor can I see anyone buying an AMD if they can afford a medium or higher priced system.
    Reply
  • jkostans - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    With the 1.83GHz conroe at $183 and on par with a X2 4600, I don't see the low end going for AMD either.Ultra low end will be a toss up however. Reply
  • Viditor - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    quote:

    With the 1.83GHz conroe at $183 and on par with a X2 4600, I don't see the low end going for AMD either

    If you look at the situation in total, it will probably make more sense...
    1. The X2 has far more inexpensive but fully functional motherboards to choose from.
    2. Supply will be far more constrained on the Conroe than on the X2

    Combos are king in the low end...for example, if you combine an Asus M2NPV-VM with an AM2 X2 3800 (after the price drop), you get a good dual core system with Raid 5, HDTV, nVidia 6150 graphics, Firewire, dual screen (VGA and DVI), and just about every whistle and bell you could want for (est) ~$250. You'd be hard pressed to find just a Conroe-ready motherboard with that kind of functionality for that kind of money (let alone a combo).
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    correct the real performance king will be for now the conroe starting from 6600 and above. maybe 6400 this will be clear later. but for the budget platform it will be better to buy an x2 3800 or 4200 seeing the price combo it will have. mobo + proc is way cheaper then any intel combo (100$ and more) thats a lot for a budget system.

    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    oh and one big item which is left out of sighht... the performance gain is less on a conroe then on a k8.. its a difference of 15% in identical apps... that's an interesting point for the future... just my opinion Reply
  • Xenoid - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Yes it was a very, very well done review and I will definitely be purchasing one of these bad boys. Reply

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