Gaming Performance

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander is a popular RTS (Real Time Strategy) title that can be very CPU dependent. Our benchmark involves playing back, as fast as possible, a 4-person match and recording the simulation time for the replay in seconds.

We ran Supreme Commander at 1920 x 1200 with High fidelity presets, v-sync was disabled.

Supreme Commander - ATBench Simulation

Here's one area where AMD needs pure clock speed to keep up, even the old X2 6400+ is able to outperform the latest Phenom processors. As long as you have two cores you're golden in Supreme Commander, but AMD's K8 and Phenom architectures are clearly slower under Supreme Commander.


The most demanding FPS on the market right now is Crysis, and we couldn't resist using it as a benchmark. We ran at 1024 x 768 with Medium Quality defaults and used the game's built in CPU benchmark.

Crysis CPU Benchmark

More than anything you're going to be GPU limited with Crysis, but in terms of how well these CPUs handle the workload given to them by the game - Intel continues to take the cake here.

Oblivion: Shivering Isles

Our Oblivion benchmark is the same one we use in our GPU reviews. Oblivion can vary from being CPU limited to GPU limited depending on the scene, we picked one that was GPU limited to illustrate that even with a wide array of CPUs when you're GPU limited, the differences can be little if anything:

Oblivion: Shivering Isles

Half Life 2 Episode Two

Half Life 2: Episode Two

Half Life 2 is obviously more CPU limited these days, and we continue to see that Intel is ahead of the pack when it comes to pure CPU gaming performance.

Photoshop and Valve Multithreaded Game Dev Benchmarks Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • aju - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Ok, the fastest Phenom is still not quite as fast as the Q6600. The problem is that the cost issues is really much larger than it is made to seem in the article. The review does not really figure the total system price into the equation. The exact parts listed in the review for the test AMD system with an Phenom X4 9850 would cost $864.97. The exact parts listed for the Intel system with a Core2Quad Q6600 would cost $1273.96. Were talking about a difference of $405.99 here. For that price difference, you could forgo the 8800GT and put in 4 Radeon HD 3870s in its place and have quad CrossFire for a total of $1314.94. That MSI board supports 4 PCI Express 2.0 slots. Then we would be comparing systems at a similar price point. I wonder if the Intel system could keep up on the games then. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    The situation would not change dramatically if Intel was changed back to DDR2-800. Intel processors don't benefit significantly if at all from the extra memroy bandwidth.

    This is a performance of the processor without limitation of other components, not a price/performance article.
  • IvanAndreevich - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Can we have a bench with the Q6600 running the same FSB and clockspeed as the Q9300? Would be an interesting comparison. Reply
  • Schugy - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Seems like q'n'q 2.0 still isn't working as good as the specs on paper tell us. Reply
  • Nihility - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    I'm really disappointed by Intel's 45 nm Q9300.
    Doesn't overclock as well, less cache and only marginally better performance over the Q6600.
    Intel is obviously holding back because AMD can't deliver. I am not amused.
    The updated phenoms are nice and all but as an overclocker I'll have to pass on this entire generation from BOTH manufacturers. That and WOW does AMD get owned at the gaming benchmarks.
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    From an overclockers perspective yes, but what's not to like if your buying this product for stock performance, faster then the Q6600 with less cache, and much more efficient energy wise.

    The only chips that AMD and Intel sell that are geared toward overclocking in mind are AMD's Black Series, and Intel's Extreme Series..

    They have no obligation to sell you cheap overclockable processors. If they do it's just very well a bonus.
  • Nihility - Friday, March 28, 2008 - link

    From a stock perspective, it's more expensive than a Q9300 but offers marginal performance gains.
    I don't like marginal processor upgrades. It's a bad sign when a year later you get sold the same speed processors instead of something that is 50% faster. They could obviously be releasing these processors with much higher clock rates but they choose not to so they have that option to crank performance up another useless 5% if they feel like it.
    I don't like being toyed with, can you blame me?
  • nubie - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Hot Damn! Now I am torn between a 45nm Intel and a Tri/Quad AMD.

    I guess I can afford to sit back and wait, but this is just awesome news, it seems for professional apps the AMD is actually a better value (well duh), I think the Opteron line will be in high demand, and it will probably be very competitive.

    Finally, something that is nearly clock-for-clock competitive with Intel. Now if AMD can only get Dual-core models out in 45nm, then they might be able to compete on level ground in the mainstream segment.

    I just don't know which to buy, I hope that the promised AM2 compatibility will finally be here, if not there will be a lot of unhappy motherboard owners (my DFI Infinity M2 sorely needs one of these.)
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    umm, they aren't really clock-for-clock competitive, and no one said they were. Depending on pricing they may be price competitive, but the Q9300 seems to hold a decent performance advantage over the 9850 in most tests shown. Reply
  • mczak - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    What was the stepping of the Q6600 core used here? IIRC G0 had significantly lower idle power consumption, and somewhat lower load power consumption than B3. Reply

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