Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor Review
By Vince Freeman :
September 13, 2007
Company of Heroes Performance
Company of Heroes is yet another new addition to our CPU benchmark suite, and as a newer game, it offers one of the most demanding benchmark environments ever. CoH is a WW2 real-time strategy game, which again provides us with a nice change of pace from the usual FPS benchmark. We use the game's built-in performance test for all of our benchmarking. To give our AMD and Intel processors a viable test, we've increased the physics load, while dropping many of the graphics settings. This will help provide a more CPU-specific benchmark test, while ensuring that the graphics card is not the limiting factor.
Company of Heroes is one of the more recent additions to our processor benchmarking suite, and its included performance test can bring even high-end systems to their knees. Like F.E.A.R., CoH can be custom tuned for either processor or graphics testing, highlighting one over the other, while maintaining a consistent game engine and testing methodology. We continue to see the same basic pattern repeated, and Company of Heroes is no different - the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ powers by the Core 2 Duo E6300, but simply cannot match the more powerful Core 2 Duo E6600.
Prey is a serious first-person shooter from Human Head Studios and 3D Realms that uses a heavily modified version of the DOOM 3 engine. You take the role of Earth's savior in an all-out war against some very nasty alien invaders, all within a Matrix-like experience, and with some of the best computer game graphics you'll ever see. Our Prey benchmark is also a very serious game test that can push any system to its limits.
The Prey benchmark results are indicative of a very demanding game environment, and fail to show much difference between processors. Even with this smaller gap between competing CPUs, the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ sticks to the same trend and relative position.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Performance
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is another in a long line of third-person games that rely on stealth and planning, rather than just hammering the fire button repeatedly. This innovative game design also gives our processors a different kind of test, which is very evident in the standard Ubisoft Lighthouse demo. The latest patches also enable SM3.0, which adds on yet another layer of attrition on the graphics card.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is an extremely demanding game benchmark, and one that takes video card dependence to a completely new level. While not particularly illuminating as a performance metric, it does show that not all games will benefit from a faster processor.