F.E.A.R. v1.08: Low and High Resolutions
For our last set of game tests, we moved on to more low-resolution benchmarking with F.E.A.R. When testing all 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. However, the in-game "effects" and "advanced computer options" settings, which control the level of detail for F.E.A.R.'s physics engine and particle system, were all set to maximum since these actually do place loads on the CPU rather than GPU.
With GPU limitations almost completely out of the equation, the multi-core processors we tested we left to run as flat out as they possibly could, handling calls from F.E.A.R.'s various other workloads like physics and particle effects and manipulation. Core 2 Extreme QX6700 shows a sizeable almost 60 fps gain over the similarly clocked Core 2 Duo E6700 and even bests Core 2 Extreme X6800's dual-core performance by a solid 34 frames per second.
At high resolution, where our GeForce 7950 GX2 is really the major limiting factor, all of Kentsfield's additional performance is lost. For now, multithreaded game engines that truly exploit new multi-core processor architectures are still only on the horizon, but hopefully that horizon is not too far off. More on this topic in our final analysis and wrap-up, next.