Are gaming benchmarks reliable on real life systems

Do you think its reasonable to think that game benchmarks done on fresh installs do not need as many cores as a system thats running skype, antivirus and maybe a few other programs in the backgroud. ie the i3 2100 wins most benchmarks against a Phenom x 4 955BE but if there are backgroud processes running then would the 955 be better and by how much? Another example would be does this situation make there a reason to get a 2600K over a 2500K in a pure gaming rig?
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  1. Good question

    In my own experiences none of my systems have had quite the results listed in benchmarks for the very same hardware/software. While some have been very close none have been as good. I assume it is due to all the added background programs I have running at any given time. However even with everything running I am only using 1-3% CPU when idle and less then 10% memory. So it would seem that it can make a difference but enough of a difference to require more cores/hyperthreading/upgrades with todays current hardware? I just cant see the need unless you just gotta have that extra couple fps. I think the result would be minimal.
  2. Well, any background processes can potentially decrease performance. Typically though the decrease is minimal unless your are actively scanning your computer for virus while you are playing a game.

    Getting a 2600k is not really worth it unless you know that whatever programs you are using can make use of hyper threading. Most general programs and games don't.
  3. Cheers for the replies so far, has anyone done or can find any tests that would give any real data on this?
  4. If you're running some antivirus programs (especially older Nortons & McAffees), it can significantly slow down your PC where the benchmarks really would get impacted. But even then, I doubt many situations (other than running winzip while gaming) will result in the 955BE catching the i3-2100 without overclocking it.
  5. If you have the same exact system, yes. But most people do not.

    I run a very lean setup. Only have one startup program, MS Essentials, and then drivers. Everything else I turn off so I get the best possible performance.
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