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An old gremlin is back to haunt us. We observed some very strange gaming results in our Socket AM3 platform launch coverage—results that were odd enough to warrant a follow-up and close cooperation with Nvidia to diagnose. Well, nothing ever came of those efforts really, despite an exhaustive number of benchmarks being run to test the possible cause of slow-downs with Core i7 and Nvidia graphics hardware. Bear in mind that the results we’d see here would differ dramatically if we were using ATI hardware—a fact demonstrated on page two of my most recent Editor’s Corner analysis.
The consequence is a positive for AMD though, as the Phenom II X4 955 and Core 2 Quad Q9550 deliver the most compelling experiences in Far Cry 2 without anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering enabled. Let’s see what turning on the visual details (and further taxing the graphics hardware) does to the results.
Core i7’s lagging performance continues, even with details cranked up. The Core 2 Quad actually serves up the best numbers followed closely by the Phenom II X4 955. It’s a miniscule difference, though. Do we see the same gaming conundrum surface In Stalker: Clear Sky?
Nope. Intel’s Core i7/Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 reasserts its dominance (to be fair, we’re talking about tenths of a frame per second, on average here). Stalker is a particularly graphics-intensive title, so we’re seeing the GeForce card keep scores fairly normalized. We’d expect the same—to a higher degree—with AA enabled.
All of our tested processors fall within one frame per second of each other at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200—both resolutions largely unplayable with anti-aliasing turned on. If you wanted faster frame rates in this one, you’d need a beefier GPU.
Fortunately, the issues encountered in Far Cry 2 with i7 hardware and Nvidia GPUs end on this page. Moving forward, everything else looks much more normal.