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 most surprising game benchmarks, as it shows a real affinity for the new 45nm Core 2 processors. The 3.2 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9770 continues that tradition, and absolutely annihilates the AMD and Intel competition, finishing with a score of just less than 440. The next-closest 65nm Core 2 Extreme QX6850 isn't in the same ZIP Code, and although the Company of Heroes benchmark does show performance improvements on quad core processors, the performance advantage is certainly due to the improved 45nm architecture and larger 2x6MB of L2 cache.
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.
F.E.A.R. is a great game for processor testing, as it allows the CPU portion of the test to be ramped up, while dropping the graphics component. Unfortunately, we seem to be hitting diminishing returns when it comes to processor performance, and although the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 does shatter 500 for the first time, it doesn't exactly leave the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 or QX6850 in the dust.
Supreme Commander Performance
Supreme Commander is a high-end real-time strategy game, similar to a next-gen Total Annihilation, combining killer graphics with top-level AI. The game is also multi-threaded, but due to processor affinity, it only shares the burden when a core is at 100% usage. This translates into more of an advantage for dual core platforms, but in-game speed and responsiveness can still benefit from quad core processors. In this test, we use the Sim score, which rates performance in the simulation portions of the game.
The Supreme Commander scores are right where we expected them to be, with the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 posting a slightly higher score, but not showing off any real advantage for the quad core models.