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Benchmark Results: Real-Time Strategy

System Builder Marathon: $1,250 Mid-Range PC

World in Conflict is a CPU-dependent game, so let's see where the chips fall in this three-way competition:

The Q9550 performs equally to the E8500 when they're both at stock speeds, which would indicate some multi-core optimizations. But when overclocked, the E8500's huge lead over the Q9550 cannot be denied. Also, note how the Core i7 CPU flies right past both of them, despite its weaker video card.

Let's see what 4xAA and 16xAF do to the mix:

Adding AA and AF really leveled the playing field. However, we can't help but wonder how the i7 would perform with the same video card as its competition.

Finally, let's scrutinize these three systems with Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance:

Supreme Commander is showing a definite graphics bottleneck, but also a strong favoring of the Q9550's multiple cores. The E8500 is bested, despite its clock speed advantage. Note how the slower video card paired with the Core i7 CPU is really keeping it back in this title.

With 4xAA added, will it change much?

No, it's the same story as the graphics card has more of a role in the maximum frame rate.

What is our conclusion? Well, as always, smooth gaming is mostly about the video card and less about the CPU. Aside from that, the number of cores and the clock speed might matter, but not that much. We would still like to see what the i7 920 could do with a 4870 X2, though.

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