Most processor launches involve the top of AMD’s and Intel’s lineups, so game testing often shows us very little other than a graphics bottleneck—especially when we test at the resolutions at which gamers actually play (we could stack these tests to show CPU limitations by dropping resolutions to the point where the graphics cards aren’t being taxed).
This time around, however, the chips are showing up in the middle and bottom of AMD’s portfolio, so we’re much more likely to see platform bottlenecks with our Radeon HD 4890 serving up ample graphics muscle.
Indeed, the 3.1 GHz Phenom II X2 shows off the quickest numbers right out of the gate in Far Cry 2, followed by the quad-core Phenom II X4 905e.
For the most part, this is what we thought would happen. There’s a roughly six frame per second difference between the slowest and fastest CPUs at 1920x1200 (still easily playable on all of these platforms, by the way).
This is the other graphics-intensive test in our suite. Sans AA, the Phenom II X2 once again asserts itself, while everything else seems fairly limited by the Radeon HD 4890 in our test machine.
Turn on the anti-aliasing and the frame rates plunge to unplayable levels. There’s not much interesting to see here—all of the CPUs serve up the same level of performance.
- Dual-Core Alphabet Soup: Athlon, Phenom—Both X2s
- Low-Power Phenom IIs: Making HTPC Magic
- Overclocking, Unlocking, And Heart-Stopping
- Test Setup And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Far Cry 2 And Stalker: Clear Sky
- Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead, H.A.W.X., Grand Theft Auto 4
- Power Consumption