EP1 and F.E.A.R.: Low Resolutions
For our last set of game tests, we moved on to some in-game benchmarking with Half Life 2: Episode 1 and F.E.A.R. When testing processors with EP1 or F.E.A.R, we drop the resolution to 800x600, 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, which control the level of detail for teh games' physics engines and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU.
Neither F.E.A.R. nor Episode 1 benefit from multi-core processors, but they did show an interesting performance trend. In out custom EP1 benchmark, the V8 rig trailed the competition by a large margin, probably due to its comparatively lackluster memory bandwidth and latency. In the F.E.A.R. benchmark though, the V8 rig and QX6800 run neck and neck, and well ahead of the QuadFX rig.