Benchmark Results: Gaming
It’s no secret that a pair of AMD RV770 GPUs need a beefy CPU in order to reach their potential. As we see in both charts, however, the overclocked Core i7 and Phenom II processors are both able to serve up enough horsepower to reach the 4870 X2’s potential. In order to get any higher frame rates here, we’d need more graphics muscle.
Both the i7 and Phenom II are able to serve up playable frame rates at either 1920x1200 or 2560x1600 with no antialiasing (AA) enabled. You can see the Phenom II stretching its legs as far as they’ll go, in fact, as the shift to a higher resolution costs hardly any performance. Turning on the visual details taxes the graphics card harder at 1920x200, and there’s as large of a performance gap. There isn’t a huge difference at 2560x1600, either. But because both configurations drop below 60 frames per second (FPS), the fact that Intel’s Core i7 stays 10 FPS ahead remains significant.
With no AA or anisotropic filtering (AF), the Intel platform exerts its strength at 1920x1200. At 2560x1600, though, graphics horsepower is what limits the speed of these setups, as they score similarly. The same situation materializes when we turn on AA and AF—it doesn’t matter which configuration you buy as performance is equal.
Whereas Left 4 Dead taxed graphics horsepower heavily, Call of Duty seems fairly demanding for CPUs. Without the AA and AF, AMD’s Phenom bottlenecks just over 70 FPS, while the Intel setup peaks at 111. Even with greater graphics demands, the bottleneck seems to be at the same spot with AA and AF turned on, as it’s only at 1920x1200 on the i7 platform that we see anything higher than 70 FPS.