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With the two most demanding games out of the way, we can move on to titles more likely to demonstrate platform limitation. Left 4 Dead seems to be able to put quad-core CPUs to work, as AMD’s Phenom II X4 905e blows past the Phenom II X2’s 600 MHz frequency advantage at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. The Athlon II and Pentium processors show their mainstream pedigrees here, trailing behind the rest of the pack.
There’s very little change with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering turned on, suggesting that our results are completely processor-limited since upping the graphics workload makes no impact at all on performance.
H.A.W.X. also shows a proclivity for AMD’s quad-core, which takes first place in both resolution tests. We again see the Athlon II and Pentium placing last. The dual-core Phenom II X2 actually doesn’t do that bad, placing behind AMD’s triple-core X3 and Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q8400.
The results even out a bit with anti-aliasing turned on (and ambient occlusion certainly isn’t helping load down the CPUs any), but there are still observable trends. The quad-core 905e is still the fastest chip tested, and the triple-core 705e is right behind it, suggesting that this title is able to take advantage of threading to a degree. Even the 3.1 GHz Phenom II X2 isn’t able to catch the lower-clocked low-power chips.
Say what you will about this console port (I’m still not a fan), but it certainly does emphasize processing performance—something we haven’t seen up until now, given the higher-end reviews in which we’ve been featuring Grand Theft Auto 4. AMD certainly leads the way with its Phenom IIs, though. The quad-core model approaches 50 fps at both resolutions with the X3 705e just behind it. Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q8400 places third and is followed by the Phenom II X2.