Intel’s 45nm Dual-Cores have finally arrived, so it’s only fitting that we take one for a spin. Our test subject is the 3.0GHz E8400, offering 6MB cache, SSE4 and more. Overclocking is impressive, with 3.8GHz stable being possible without even raising the voltage! This chip definitely proves itself a winner.
The newest additions our gaming arsenal is Call of Duty 4 and Crysis, two titles that are absolutely mind-blowing in both graphics and gameplay. It’s not too often that gorgeous games play well, but Infinity Ward and Crytek really know what they are doing. For precise settings used throughout testing, please refer to our testing methodology page.
We have used Call of Duty 2 in our testing since its release, so it’s great to finally change the scenery a bit now that the fourth installment is available. I admit that I am not terribly fascinated with war-based games, but CoD4 does well to excite during benchmarking. It might be one title I will actually go back and play through, and that says a lot!
The level chosen for testing is The Bog, which begins you out among friends on a destroyed bridge in the heat of battle. This is a level to use in order to push your computer to the limits. The level is one of the most visually appealing I’ve seen (though dark), but has intense action that will stress both the processor and GPU.
Although CPUs are normally marketed to promote better gameplay, these graphs prove that most of the time, it’s more of a GPU bottleneck, not the CPU. In this case, our $220 CPU didn’t hold anything back from our gameplay here. The beefy 1600FSB QX9770 was the only CPU to show a real performance increase.
Do games this hyped really need an introduction? Crysis is one of the first games we’ve seen in a while that actually does a great job of pushing the highest-end computers to their breaking point. This is far from a joke. I would love to see a $10,000 e-peen PC run this game like butter at 2560×1600. Maybe next year, but I’d be hard-pressed to see that happen right now.
Because we just added the game to our fleet, the level used is the first one in the game. Instead of beginning right at the beginning when you jump out of a plane, we crated a save on the beach, where is where we begin each time. The manual playthrough ends after about four minutes, after the second area that requires the super-jump.
We can officially claim that the processor is not going to be the bottleneck for a game like Crysis. How long will it take before we can run this game on a mid-range card and it perform well?