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How does the CPU effect game performance?

Certain games require a specific processor or better, and I was wondering if having a lower processor would have any effect what so ever on the gameplay's performance/fps, if it is below the required/recommended specs.

Examples:
Crysis 3
http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/03/crysis-3-system-requirements/

Battlefield 3
http://bf3blog.com/battlefield-3-system-requirements/

Skyrim
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:System_Requirements
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  1. Best answer
    Yes, it would make it unplayable in many circumstances. Skyrim requires a core 2 era dual core but recommends a quad, if you look at the benchmarks for skyrim you can see why.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-benchmark,3074-9.html
    If you were running an old Sempron X2 @ 2.4GHz you would be average well under 30 FPS.

    If you tried running Crysis 3 on the minimum CPU you'd be seeing average FPS in the upper teens/lower 20's, it wouldn't be playable at that level
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-3-performance-benchmark-gaming,3451-8.html
  2. Ah I see! thank you very much! That makes a lot of sense now. I was trying to install the realvision ENB for skyrim and realised my processor has 2.4 ghz not 3.0. Hopefully I can get a better one in the future.
  3. Well bear in mind it is a comparison to the relative strength of the processor. A 2.4GHz sempron is much closer to a 2 GHz Phenom II X2. Clock speed doesn't actual mean anything these days, when the i7 920 came out at 2.66GHz it was basically the most powerful processor out there even though it was clocked about 20% slower than the other high end ones out there.
  4. What processor/gfx card do you have. I have played Crysis 3 on a dual core Celeron G1620 with a HD 7750 OC gxf card. At medium specs/medium textures it runs fine (single player). With a little tuning it would run even better.
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