Gaming Performance using Quake 4, Battlefield 2 & Half-Life 2 Episode 1

Our gaming performance analysis starts out with Quake 4 running at 1600 x 1200 with High Quality visual settings. We used version 1.2 of Quake 4 and SMP was enabled:

Gaming Performance - Quake 4

Once we shift over to gaming performance, the differences between all of the tested systems are greatly diminished. Enabling 4xAA would further reduce the difference, to the point where most of the systems would be about equal. This does not change the fact that the Core 2 Duo chips are able to outperform their AMD counterparts in terms of raw performance, so once faster graphics cards become available we should see the processors begin to differentiate themselves more. Of course, by then we might also have games that are more demanding of the GPU.

Looking specifically at Quake 4 performance -- and remember that this is one of the few games that can truly take advantage of multiple processor cores -- the Core 2 processors continue to outperform their AMD counterparts, but only by a small margin. The overall spread between the X6800 and the X2 3800+ is 35%, which is certainly noticeable, but with frame rates that are all averaging over ~120 FPS Quake 4 is clearly going to run well on all of the tested systems. We had hoped to include Prey performance as well, so that we could see how an updated Quake 4/Doom 3 engine game performs, but we ran into benchmarking issues that we are currently investigating.

Next up we've got the recently released Half Life 2: Episode 1, running at default quality settings (auto detected with a pair of X1900 XTs installed) with the exception of AA and aniso being disabled. As with all of our gaming tests in this article we tested at 1600 x 1200:

Gaming Performance - Half-Life 2: Episode One

In Half-Life 2: Episode One, the Performance spread is 41%. At the top end of the spectrum, we're beginning to become GPU limited even without antialiasing enabled. Valve's Source engine clearly likes the Core 2 architecture, as even without overclocking the E6300 and E6400 clearly perform better than their similarly priced AMD counterparts.

Gaming Performance - Battlefield 2

Battlefield 2 is a game that has consistently demonstrated it is more CPU limited than GPU limited, especially with high-end graphics solutions. Here the spread between the processors is 58%, and the E6300/E6400 without overclocking are faster than everything from AMD except for the FX-62. At the top end of the spectrum, we finally begin to reach the limitations of our GPUs, with the top four systems all performing within 3% of each other.

Encoding Performance using DivX 6.1, WME9, Quicktime (H.264) & iTunes Gaming Performance using F.E.A.R. & Rise of Legends
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  • Comdrpopnfresh - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Unfortunately, this article goes on the assumption that the AMD chips are not overclocked. To say that the low-end intel chips offer overclocked performance that the AMD FX-62 cannot reach is absurd. With an unlocked multiplier, the FX can certainly stay above Core2's low end. The same could be said for Lower End X2's.... I'd like to see a review with them overclocked compared to Core2's at stock.... Especially since such CPUs on the 939 socket are mature and heavily supported by outstanding overclocking mobos....
  • OcHungry - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Just be patient till advertizing budget is dried up.
    I wish AMD was more co-operative in paid per review market that has plagued "money buys"
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    Dear OC-Sharikou,


    Just be patient till advertizing budget is dried up. I wish AMD was more co-operative in paid per review market that has plagued "money buys"

    AMD would have that ability if it were not for that $2.5B loan they just signed and obviously keeping your blog up and running. I hope you are banned for these types of false and mis-leading statements. By the way, where are all of these Intel ads you keep harping about?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Advertising and Editorial are completely independent and separate at AnandTech, we have a 3rd party ad agency that handles all advertising and sales. The agency is completely independent from AnandTech, Inc.

    The OP's points were addressed by the poster above; this article was done after response to the last one asked for more information on the E6300 and E6400. The overclockability of 90nm X2 CPUs is fairly well known, and enough reference points exist within this article to compare overclocked X2 performance vs. E6300/E6400 overclocked performance.

    Take care,
  • bere - Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - link

    Actually I think the article is missleading(not on purpose). To compare a 370FSB OC CPU with a 200FSB on DEF is pointless. I would have OC'ed all at least 2 CPU's from both sides to see what's the best buy for an OC'er.
    Sorry for my poor english.
  • jjunos - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    This article also assumes you actually read it. From the article:


    While we don't have any Socket-AM2 Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPUs on hand (we will use a 4600+ and underclock it for our benchmarks), we do have performance results of the X2 4200+, 4600+ and FX-62 to give you an idea of where an overclocked X2 3800+ can get you performance-wise.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Again, STFU

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