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A Free-To-Play MMO? Neverwinter Performance, Benchmarked

Results: CPU Benchmarks

At this point, it's pretty clear that Neverwinter needs a pretty quick processor if you want the performance of a reasonably-fast graphics card to shine through. At 1920x1080, it doesn't matter if you have a Radeon HD 7790, GeForce GTX 650 Ti, Radeon HD 7970, or GeForce GTX 680 if you're only using a mid-range Core i5 processor. All of those cards are limited by our CPU, even though it offers four cores and a pretty quick clock rate.

Consequently, this is one of those games where our processor benchmarks probably mean more than the graphics card numbers. We drop in a Radeon HD 7970 and check to see how a selection of CPUs is affected.

It's a little surprising that the Core i3-3220, FX-4170, and Phenom II X4 960 aren't able to manage a minimum of 30 FPS, though they come close. The dual-core chips are stuck at about 20 FPS, and the FX-8350 does a bit better with a 31 FPS floor that averages closer to 41 FPS. Only Intel's Core i5-3550 demonstrates a significantly better result, and we have to assume that higher-end Core processors are really what it takes to let AMD's single-GPU flagship achieve its best showing.