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

  • chizow - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    I kinda agree with the others about this being a massive fluff piece. The following take on clock speeds really emphasizes the bias built into this article, about Phenom's clock speeds and potential performance:


    AMD told some members of the press that there was nothing special about these 3.0GHz Phenoms that were demoed, which begs the question - what happened?

    There's nothing particularly magical about the 3.0GHz number, but the problem is this:

    and on the very next page:


    We aimed for 3.0GHz and while we could get into Windows and run some benchmarks, we couldn't get it 100% stable. In our opinion it's highly unlikely we'll see AMD release a 3.0GHz Phenom on 65nm this year. It may be possible on 45nm but it's still too early to tell if that'll be this year or not.

    There isn't anything special about 3GHz, AMD just can't get this hot turd to run that fast, period.
  • pomaikai - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Just bought a phenom for an upgrade. It is the old stepping, but the person I got it for will never do virtualization or overclock. I couldnt pass up an OEM Phenom 9600 for $132. Reply
  • Dribble - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    I agree Q9300 is no Q6600 replacement because the whole point of the Q6600 was you could over clock it to get a real high performance part. Because the Q9300 uses the 333 fsb trying to get over clocks similar to even the Q6600 requires a much higher fsb. Particularly as the max fsb for a quad is significantly lower then for dual's, you'll max out most motherboards before you even reach the max possible Q6600 speeds. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Q9300 is a reaplcement if your not an overclocker it has better stock perfomrance and to most of intel's OEM's it is, so overall it is a better. From both a stock performance and energy consumption standpoint.

    If your trying to overclock you will likely need at least the Q9450.
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    I have been waiting to build a system now for a couple months and I really wanted to use the 9450 due to the 12mb cache compared to the Q9300. The newegg out of stock price, however, is listed at $380!!!

    My price sweetspot for a CPU has always been around $300 since I only upgrade systems every 3-4 years so am willing to spend more on the cpu than other components.

    Anand, do you happen to have a comparison between the 9450 and 9300 (preferably at the same clock speed?) to see exactly how much that doubling of L2 cache helps in different situations. I primarily game, but always multitask and have other programs running so would really like to know if that extra 6mb is helpful (especially in the next 3 years).

  • archcommus - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    My situation exactly. I was hoping to build a new system first week of May with a 9450, due to wanting a quad-core 45nm part with the best cache/price ratio, but it doesn't look like it will be affordable by that time (I'm willing to pay $316, not more though). So I too am curious if the 9300 will fit the bill (also planning to keep for 3-4 years). Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    AMD still make stinky stinky. Pew! Reply
  • formulav8 - Friday, March 28, 2008 - link

    Grow up. Intel doesn't like you. Reply
  • Proteusza - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Is it all possible for you guys to release the replay which you used to test performance? I want to compare my system to these, because I'm considering upgrading to Phenom. Pity MSI hasnt released a BIOS update for my motherboard that allows it to use Phenom CPUs, so I might be waiting a while (its a K9N SLI Platinum, in future I will just buy Asus).

    Note to anyone who plays Supreme Commander with a multicore CPU - there is a tool that improves performance by allocating threads to CPUs better. It is specific to SupCom, which tends to have one CPU with 100% usage, and the rest with 20%. The tool automatically adjusts the affinity. Go to and look in around for a thread related to Core Maximizer.
  • michal1980 - Thursday, March 27, 2008 - link

    Ok amd is doing better. The Q6600 has been out for what? over a year now. And its still owning AMD's baby. And to top that off, I though the whole 'pure' quad core technology was supposd to be better then the lets slap 2 dual cores into one package method of Intel.

    Its nice Amd can FINALLY start to play with the big boys... But the way this article was written is just garbage, A year late and a dollar short.

    As for price the q6600 is dropping all over the place... Frys had it for 180 yesterday, Microcenter has it for 200.

    So why is this article written in such postive light for AMD? A nice paycheck for the author. The conclusion is clear... Intel OWNS AMD. The price difference on the market is 0. The ability to overclock the q6600 is as easy as switching the bus to 1333mhz, and the ownage will grow.

    So yes amd made an improvemnt over the crap they had. However their current cream of the crop is owned by the 1+ year old stuff.

    Its like getting into the hotest club right before they close... Wow you got in... But its time to go.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now