Quake 4: Low and High Resolutions
For our next set of tests, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo. Here, we installed the game's official v1.3 point release which is SMP capable, turned 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 is much more CPU and memory bandwidth-bound than anything else.
Since the engine is getting a bit older now and since it clearly wasn't built multithreaded from the ground up, Quake shows very little advantage for the new Intel quad-core CPU. Kentsfield does weigh in a a couple of frames per second faster than the Core 2 Duo E6700, which runs at the same clock speed but the variance is not much to take note of.
When configured at high resolution game settings and thus relying more on the GPU subsystem, QX6700 Kentsfield performance is even more diminished. In fact Kentsfield brings up the rear amongst the Intel processors lineup. Again, legacy code-bases the likes of which run older game engines like Quake 4 are not where you'll find any appreciable advantage with Intel's new quad-core processor. Forward looking engines that are are more targeted toward a multithreaded architecture are where we'll begin to see significantly more tangible benefits.