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:

    Because people were able to buy these four days ago?
    But they're not available today. Why is that?

    quote:

    Because the official launch is still two weeks away?
    So Intel is launching this twice? What is going on today? Technology preview?
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    But they're not available today. Why is that?


    Sold out?

    quote:

    So Intel is launching this twice? What is going on today? Technology preview?


    RTFA. The NDA lifted today. Launch is on the 27th.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sold out?
    If they were sold out they would still show on Newegg and ZZF.

    quote:

    RTFA. The NDA lifted today. Launch is on the 27th.
    I RFTA! That's how I was able to correlate the lack of product to the availability of benchmarks. Products leak all of the time and NDA's are held in place. This maybe a creative way of paper launching but it's still a paper launch.
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    If they were sold out they would still show on Newegg and ZZF


    Yeah, because that's the only two places you buy a CPU from.

    Sheesh.
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    bob and MrKaz, forever the fanboy.

    Please explain to me why Intel having the better cpu upsets you so?
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Monday, July 17, 2006 - link

    And you?

    It can be better than Cyrix, IBM, Sun, ... I don’t care.

    But you seem to care more than me.
    If you don’t, why do you complain?

    This is not for me because my maximum 100€ for processor.
    It’s cheap (compared to others Intel past released brand new CPU) but not cheap enough.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    bob and MrKaz, forever the fanboy.
    I'm not a fanboi. I just hate hypocrites. If you read another post of mine in this section (use the scroll button Luke) you will see me praise the performance of the Conroe. I plan on buying one for my wife. I'll probably get a K8L if it turns out to be even or faster than Conroe otherwise I'll get a Conroe for myself.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sorry but the Netburst stuff is STILL garbage. Core 2 is head and shoulders better than anything they've made since the P3. Although, I thought the power consumption would be better.
    Here's the post I made. Sound like a fanboi to you?
    Reply
  • forPPP - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Why buying more expensive and slower Core 2 Extreme (X6800, 2.93 GHz) ? There is cheaper Woodcrest at 3.0 GHz !
    Are there no motherboard with unbuffered memory support for Woodcrest ?
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Nope Intel doesn't allow their Server processor to be used for desktop stuff as it's LGA771 socket. Reply

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