One of the most popular CPUs on the market right now is the Q6600, thanks to the fact that it offers four cores at 2.4GHz. But what about the Xeon’s? Their prices are also more affordable now, with their X3210 2.13GHz retailing for $260. Read on as we pit this Quad-Core against the rest of our fleet.
Regardless of the OS we are running or product being reviewed, there are a few conditions that need to be met:
Here is the machine used for testing, followed by our operating systems configurations.
For our CPU reviews, we use two different versions of Windows and one version of Linux. Even though Vista has been out for half a year now, we focus on XP because it has a much wider user base, and is preferred for the best performance and compatibility. Vista is used only for our SYSmark 2007 Preview suite.
Game benchmarking is an important part of testing the capabilities of a CPU, and for this review we’ve included four popular titles: Half-Life 2, Prey, STALKER and Supreme Commander. Average FPS is captured using FRAPS 2.8.2, except for Prey, which is our only non-manual game.
Half-Life, Prey and Stalker are played at 1600×1200 with 4xAA, Half-Life being the only one with bumped AF.
Supreme Commander is the only game run at 1920×1200 with all options maxed alongside an 8xAA. This is because the game is multi-core compatible, and we wanted to see if the game would benefit from a quad-core in a realistic scenario.
Each game play through lasts between 3 and 5 minutes, except Supreme Commander which lasts closer to 8. All run-throughs are manually played, except for Prey which uses a time demo, in order to break through the 60FPS hard-limit. Results are captured using FRAPS 2.82.
All other non-game benchmarks will be explained along the way. Without further ado, let’s proceed.