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
Advantage (Intel) 22.8% 55.0% 43.9% 30.9%

 

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.

Gaming Performance using Oblivion Overclocking
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  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    This is a paper launch, and there's a variety of political reasons for it. Among the reasons:
    I would like to know about the AMD EE CPU's myself. I forgot about those.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    LOL! I got modded down because some of you clowns don't like to be accused of being hypocrites. So I'll ask a question. What's the difference between launching a video card and not having product available and launching a CPU and not having product available? I hear NO bitching at all on this. Why is that? Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    I don't get where you're seeing its not available. According to a poster above,

    quote:

    Your screenshots with cpuid have the stepping as a B1 stepping 5 Conroe - I bought a retail Conroe X6800, and it was a stepping 6 revB2


    How are we being hypocrites?
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    How are we being hypocrites?
    Beacuse this is a paper launch and no one's complaining but when ATI/Nvidia does the same thing everyone and their mom's are bitching and complaining. Hypocracy!
    Reply
  • Shintai - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    How can be it a paper launch when Intel first launches it July 27th?

    After July 27th you can start whine...
    Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    How could it be considered a paper launch if there are posters above you complaining the their OC results of the C2Ds that they bought and have in their possession aren't as good as AT's? Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I don't get where you're seeing its not available. According to a poster above,
    One poster gave a link to Newegg but there's nothing there. I searched the site and saw nothing. I also checked ZZF and Monarch. Nothing there. If this CPU is available, why can't I buy it?
    Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    As you said yourself before, the supply is tight hence the ridiculous price. If they've been available then they were already bought. http://www.buy.com/prod/CORE_2_DUO_E6600_DC_LGA775...">Check buy.com
    Its temporarily sold out but the orders placed when it was in stock were shipping july 5th.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    That's a little high but not out of line. I paid $400 for my 3500 and this is MUCH faster. I am surprised that no one here has one of these since they were released earlier. Reply
  • Questar - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Because people were able to buy these four days ago?

    Because the official launch is still two weeks away?
    Reply

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