Intel Core 2 Duo & Core 2 Extreme Processors, Chipsets And Performance Analysis

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Low-Res Gaming: F.E.A.R. and Quake 4

To start our in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with F.E.A.R. When testing processors with F.E.A.R, we drop the resolution to 640x480, and drop all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible.

Benchmarks with F.E.A.R: Low Quality
DirectX 9 Gaming Performance


In the Conroe performance "sneak peek" articles we've posted over the last few months, Intel used F.E.A.R. as a showcase for their Core 2 line of processors. The reason?  Intel's new processors handily outpace anything currently available from AMD here, and absolutely crush the Pentium Extreme Edition 965.

Benchmarks with Quake 4 v1.2: Low Quality
OpenGL Gaming Performance

For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo. Here, we installed the game's official v1.2 patch which is SMP capable, tuned the resolution down to 640x480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Quake 4 typically taxes today's high-end GPUs, when it's configured at these minimal settings, it too is more CPU and memory-bound than anything else.

The new Core 2 Duo E6700 and Core 2 Extreme X6800 also performed extremely well in our custom Quake 4 benchmark.  In these tests, the E6700 was about 19 FPS faster than an FX-62 and the X6800 was 30 to 40 frames per second faster depending on the chipset used.  And of course, the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 and Athlon 64 5000+ trail the Core 2 processors by even larger margins.  Interestingly, the P965 / X6800 combo put up the best scores, followed by the 975X Express and then the nForce 4 SLIX16.

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