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Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead 2

Intel Core i7-980X Extreme: Hello, Six-Core Computing

More so than any other test, Left 4 Dead 2 helps demonstrate why a processor like Core i7-980X might be well-suited to a gaming environment. It’s so damn fast that any game that doesn’t bring a graphics subsystem to its knees will, in fact, realize a speed-up.

At both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, the six-core CPU earns slim victories over the Core i7-975 Extreme. This isn’t because Valve’s Source engine is taking advantage of six cores. Rather, the threads it is employing are getting access to the larger shared L3 cache.

Of course, because it isn’t incredibly graphically-intensive, a solid card like our Radeon HD 5850 lets you turn on more eye candy without knee-capping performance. Enabling 8xAA and 16xAF is more than playable, even at 2560x1600. And at that point, you’re again looking at comparable performance between the six-core Core i7-980X and sub-$200 Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.

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