Since few, if any, PC games show a noticeable performance gain while running anything more than a dual core processor, we are limiting the game benchmarking section to a single page. Although 3DMark06 Pro does support multi-threading, we anticipate the 8-core Xeon X5365 V8 to perform on par with, or a bit higher, or lower, than a 3.0 GHz quad core system in the remainder of the tests.
3DMark06 Pro Performance
3DMark06 is the latest version in the popular 3DMark series of gaming benchmarks, and like 3DMark05, it also requires DirectX 9.0 compatibility. The 3DMark06 program offers a high-end selection of both gaming and CPU tests, while upping the ante in terms of jaw-dropping graphics and 3D feature support. 3DMark06 is not only a prime way of determining potential DirectX 9 game performance, but the individual CPU performance score also makes it a valuable tool in processor reviews and performance comparisons. This CPU benchmark is performed at the standard 1280x1024 resolution and 32-bit color depth, with no anti-aliasing or filtering options enabled.
Standard game benchmarks usually don't show any real advantage with a dual or quad-core setup, primarily because these are not written with a multi-core platform in mind. While this is true in the majority of cases, 3DMark06 Pro does offer multi-threaded game benchmarking, and will give us a better idea on how the Xeon X5365 V8 might translate in terms of upcoming games. The dual Xeon X5365 system performed extremely well in the 3DMark06 CPU Test, easily outpacing both the dual and quad core AMD/Intel competition, and offering a similar type of jump that that Core 2 Quad enjoyed over the Core 2 Duo.
F.E.A.R. is one of the newer additions to our game benchmark suite, and it features jaw-dropping graphics and a physics engine that can bring any system to its knees. The game even includes a wide selection of System and Video settings, along with an in-game testing module to keep things 100% comparable. In this case, as we are dealing with CPU performance, we have racked the system and physics settings to maximum, while lowering the graphics quotient to minimum, in an attempt to get rid of any GPU limitations.
As expected, the F.E.A.R. results show a close race, with the Xeon X5365 V8 pushing just ahead of the Core 2 Extreme QX6800. This does show that an 8-core system might yield some slight game performance advantages, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
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 offers a similar set of benchmark results, but in this case, the emphasis on memory/platform performance must be even higher, as the Xeon X5365 V8 falls slightly back from the top performers.