|Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 03 January 2011|
Page 8 of 15
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
Benchmark Reviews continually evaluates the various tests and benchmarks we use, and we have switched from Ubisoft's Far Cry 2 benchmark to CAPCOM's Street Fighter IV benchmark. Street Fighter IV uses a new, built-from-scratch graphics engine that enables CAPCOM to tune the visuals and performance to fit the needs of the game, as well as run well on lower-end hardware. Although the engine is based on DX9 capabilities, it does add soft shadows, High Dynamic Range lighting, depth of field effects, and motion blur to enhance the game experience.
The game is multi-threaded, with rendering, audio, and file I/O all running in different threads. The development team has also worked to maintain a relatively constant CPU load in all parts of the game so that on-screen performance does not change dramatically in different game scenarios.
I ran the Street Fighter IV benchmark at low-resolution, low settings as well as high-resolution, high settings. Low-resolution settings were 1024x768, no AA, with all other settings set to minimum; high resolution tests were run at 1920x1200 with 8xAA and all other settings maxed out. Low-resolution gaming tests make the video card less of a factor since any high-end video card like the NVIDIA GTX280 used in these tests can easily handle them; differences here are more biased towards processor horsepower. The AMD 1100T brings up the rear here, but the real surprise is that the 3.06Ghz, last-generation Core i7-950 performs identically with the spiffy new 3.4Ghz Core i7-2600K. Again, the latest new processor doesn't necessarily mean better performance.
In the high-resolution tests, as expected, the results are all similar, since the performance of the graphics card becomes the primary factor. Still, the AMD 1100T beats the i7-950 and stock-clocked 2600K by about 7.5%.