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