Quake 4 and F.E.A.R.
For our last set of game tests, we moved on to some in-game benchmarking with Quake 4 and F.E.A.R. When testing processors and motherboards with Q4 or F.E.A.R, we drop the screen resolution and reduce 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 the level of detail for processing workloads such as physics calculations and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU.
The Core 2 Extreme QX6850 just sneaks past the Core 2 Extreme X6800, once again proving itself to be the fastest desktop processor on the planet currently for gaming requirements. In Quake 4 we see the QX6800 quad-core / 975x combo actually drops in behind the X6800 dual-core chip, due once again in part to bus bandwidth limitations and the fact that Quake 4 doesn't efficiently use all processing resources, though the engine does somewhat make use of multi-threading. The new Core 2 Extreme 6850 does offer a bit more performance however and it shows itself to be about 3%-5% faster than the X6800 in Q4.
In our F.E.A.R. tests on the other hand, the new QX6850 bests the QX6800 quad-core for a first place finish with a 7.5% gain. The Core 2 Extreme QX6850 was also 34% faster than the Core 2 Extreme X6800 dual-core. All told, the new QX6850 from Intel serves up the best gaming performance we've recorded to date.