SBM 2: Mid Cost System

Benchmark Results

3D Games

We kept the old 4:3 settings up to 1600x1200 for comparison to the previous system, adding two widescreen resolutions as we take our first steps toward updating future marathons to reflect the aspect ratio of current flat-panel displays.

Intel typically leads in memory performance, the effect of which appears to give the new 650i-based system a slight handicap at the lowest Doom 3 test setting. Lower resolutions are also CPU bound, and Doom 3 doesn't appear to gain anything from the switch to four-core processors. Once we get to 1600x1200 the new system's more powerful graphics card puts it well into the lead.

Performance gains in F.E.A.R. are a bit more consistent, with the 650i based Core 2 Quad system leading across the entire range. Even at 1920x1200 with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled, game play is completely smooth.

Oblivion again shows a slight performance drop at the lowest resolutions for the new system, which once again is likely due to the older system's greater memory controller efficiency. The more powerful graphics card pulls the new system ahead at higher resolutions, so that today's mid-priced build is just as playable at 1920x1200 pixel resolution as the former system was at 1600x1200 pixels.