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Game Benchmarks

Part 2: How Many CPU Cores Do You Need?

Now for the fun stuff. Once again, we're running these games at the low 1024x768 resolution to shift the bottleneck from the graphics card to the CPU. We begin with Crysis—not the newest title out there, but certainly one of the most demanding.

Crysis shows essentially the same performance between three and four CPU cores. The three-core results are showing a 0.7 frame per second advantage, but this is well within the margin of error. Two CPU cores show a slight disadvantage and the single CPU core results are much lower.

Left 4 Dead demonstrates the same thing Crysis did: game performance maxes out at three CPU cores and drops off slightly to two CPU cores, while a single CPU core takes a big performance hit.

To recap, we're seeing results almost identical to our previous review. Cache difference or not, it seems that games take advantage of three CPU cores, for the most part, although two CPU cores can often provide excellent performance. The single CPU core results look dismal, but the frame rates in World in Conflict are still very good.

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