AMD Athlon II X4 Debut: Enter The $99 Quad-Core
Low-Res Gaming: Crysis
For our next set of tests, we moved on to some in-game benchmarking with Crysis. When testing processors with Crysis, we dropped the resolution to 800x600, and reduce all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible. However, the in-game effects, which control the level of detail for the games' physics engines and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU. All platforms in this test were equipped with a NVIDIA GTX 280 to eliminate the graphics card as a possible bottleneck, in order to isolate the CPU's performance as much as possible.
For the Crysis gaming test, we pit the new Athlon II X4s against a larger field of competitors including a dual-core Intel CPU and a Phenom II quad-core. We can see here that the Athlon II X4's lack of L3 cache really hurts it in games where cache memory is frequently used, such as Crysis. Unlike in all of the previous tests where both of the Athlon II X4 processors were very competitive with the more expensive Core 2 Quad Q8200, in Crysis the Q8200's vastly superior cache configuration gives it a huge edge. While the rest of the field posted scores in the 110+ area, the two Athlon II X4 processors are stuck around 80. It's clear that the new Athlons aren't the best choices around for gaming chips.