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

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

To see how Intel's new Core 2 processors would fare in a typical high-end gaming scenario, we also tested the CPUs with some popular games at high-resolution settings that taxed the graphics sub-system of each of the platforms.

Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of 2005 was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. Taking a look at the minimum system requirements, we see that you will need at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card, that is a Radeon 9000 or GeForce4 Ti-class or better, to adequately run the game. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.03, we put the graphics cards in this review through their paces to see how they fared with a popular title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to the maximum values, but with soft shadows disabled (Soft shadows and anti-aliasing do not work together currently). Benchmark runs were then completed at a resolution of 1600x1200 with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.


For these tests, we installed a second GeForce 7900 GTX into our nForce based tests systems and enabled SLI multi-GPU rendering.  As you can see, when the graphics sub-system becomes the bottleneck, performance between the different platforms and processors levels out somewhat. But because the F.E.A.R. benchmark also incorporates physics and AI unlike a typical timedemo, faster processors also boost performance a bit, as is evident by the X6800's and E6700's first and second place finishes.

Performance Comparisons with Quake 4

Quake 4
id Software, in conjunction with developer Raven, recently released the latest addition to the wildly popular Quake franchise, Quake 4. Quake 4 is based upon an updated and slightly modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such, performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Quake 4 is also an OpenGL game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows, but unlike Doom3, Quake 4 features some outdoor environments as well. We ran these Quake 4 benchmarks using a custom demo with the game set to its "High-Quality" mode, at a resolution of 1600x1200 with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled simultaneously.

Our custom Quake benchmark basically told the same story as F.E.A.R.  Here, all of the test systems were tightly grouped with the Core 2 Extreme X6800, once again finishing at the top of the charts.  The FX-62 pulled off a second place finish followed by the E6700 and then the Athlon 64 5000+.

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