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Game Benchmarks: Call of Duty 4

Can Your Old Athlon 64 Still Game?
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Next up is Call of Duty 4 Modern Combat, released in November 2007. The game is multi-threaded and full of intense action. Choppy FPS are not going to make it an easy and enjoyable fight, so let’s see if our three processors are up to the task.

Benchmarking CoD4 is more difficult than the other games tested so far. We could do a custom time demo from multiplayer, but decided to use Fraps and record actual game play performance. This was no small task though, as getting consistent results is harder than in the other games we have tested so far. The cut scenes are consistent and may be okay for comparing GPUs, but they proved to show little scaling among these CPUs and did not reflect game play on this aging system. We instead use the War Pig mission for intense combat, and crank settings to maximum including 16xAF. There were more fluctuations in results compared to the other games so this time each test was run five times and the results averaged together.

One look and it’s easy to see COD4 is multi-threaded. Despite lower clock speeds, the X2 4200+ is able to double the average FPS of the A64 4000+ at low resolution. The once mighty single-core CPU limits performance at all resolutions. The X2 5600+ with its high clock speeds provided the best gaming experience of the trio.

One thing’s for sure: before investing in a new graphics card in hopes of seeing COD4 cranked up in all its glory, make sure you at least have a capable dual- or quad-core CPU in the system. Gamers that have a single-core PC will need to tweak and reduce settings or suffer through some extremely choppy battles.

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