Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern GPUs?

Shogun 2

Shogun 2:

Shogun 2 is an immersive RTS game with gorgeous visuals, full support for DX11, and a wickedly long load time if you don't drop it on a solid state drive. We chose to "Benchmark Game Settings" using the "High" preset on both the GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 660. In this case, we also opted to test the GTX 660 using "Very High" details with tessellation and ambient occlusion enabled.

As we've seen several times before, the GTX 260 hits 43 FPS with either CPU. Again, upgrading to a GTX 660 matters for both chips, but the 2.4GHz Q6600 picks up 46% compared to the E6850's 23%. Shogun 2 is also overclocking friendly; pushing the Q6600 to 3GHz improves frame rates by a further 17%.

At Very High Detail, the E6850 has a small advantage over the slower Q6600 when the GTX 260 is installed. The rankings don't change much -- the new GPU is better for both CPUs, but the Q6600 gains more from the exchange. Overclocking has less of an impact here; a 25% clock speed increase only improves frame rates by 9%.

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