Pentium D vs Core 2 Duo - Tests: Game Benchmarks - Continued...

Article Index
Pentium D vs Core 2 Duo
Test Setup and Info
Tests: Real-World Apps
Tests: Video Encoding and File Compression
Tests: Game Benchmarks
Tests: Game Benchmarks - Continued...

Oblivion:

We continue our head-to-head with a game that has been making headlines as far as world environments go.  The game of course is Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  This game renders graphics on the fly and trees, grass and other objects are generated real-time as you run though the game.  This is incredibly demanding on both the graphics processor and the CPU.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Quake 4:

We continue our quest as we take a look at Quake 4.  I enjoyed this game much more than Doom3 and have spent quite a few hours in the past fragging on Quake 4 maps.  Quake 4 is locked at 60 FPS, so to let things run loose and wild, we had open the console and fix the tic rate by typing the command " seta com_fixedtic "1" ".  This allowed the game to run at the highest FPS that the system could generate.  The problem with this is that when you run faster processors, the game speeds up and the map run-though is not perfectly consistent.  We ran though many times to get very comparable results as you can see below.

Quake 4
Quake 4

 

Tomb Raider: Legend:

The last game we are taking a look at today is the latest Tomb Raider installment.  This game is a total rework of everything we've previously come to hate about Tomb Raider and it has actually impressed a whole bunch of people.  The truth is this game looks good and runs pretty well on mid-range hardware - until you turn Next-Generation Content on.  For these test we are running default graphics settings with Next Gen off at 800x600.  We'll see how CPU bound this game is as we compare the 805D with the E6600 for the last time in this article.

Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider: Legend

In this series of game tests, we've really seen the Conroe CPU shine.  Oblivion game play yields a nice 13.5FPS increase which translates to 40% when using a 7600GT.  The difference was even more pronounced in Quake 4 and you could really see and feel a difference in this game.  The 805D managed 46.5FPS average which the E6600 pumped out a 74FPS average - almost 60% faster.  Lastly, we compare TR:Legend and see the trend continue as the E6600 pumps out 32% better performance - an extra 34FPS.

Conclusion:

Yes, the Core 2 Duo E6600 is faster than the Pentium D 805.  Are we surprised by the winner?  Of course not, but the margin of victory was larger in some cases than we had ever expected.  On the other hand, there were some instances where we expected more performance out of Intel's latest architecture.  We saw that even though the Core 2 Duo is clocked slower than the Pentium D 805, the amount of work it can do per clock cycle is much, much higher.  No offence to Intel fan-boys, but it's about time that Intel made a decent chip that wasn't sitting spinning it tires in the mud.  It's great to see the massive performance improvements that are available - not by clocking a processor faster - but by making it work properly at the speed its running.

I'm sure that FSB, better bandwidth management, SSE4 and other optimizations will improve this CPU even more in the future.  Intel is back on top with the Core 2 Duo, and we're just plain happy to have had one to play with.

Core 2 Duo is a top choice here at BCCHardware and if you want to snag one, swing on by our sponsor, MemoryExpress, where you will be able to pick them up very, very soon.