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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition CPU HDZ940XCGIBOX
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Phenom II X4 940BE
Testing and Results
Devil May Cry 4 Gaming
EVEREST Benchmark Tests
Far Cry 2 Gaming
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark05 Benchmark Tests
SPECperfview CATIA Tests
AMD Dragon Final Thoughts
Phenom II X4 940BE Conclusion

Devil May Cry 4 Gaming

Devil May Cry 4 was released on PC in early 2007 as the fourth installment to the Devil May Cry video game series. DMC4 is a direct port from the PC platform to console versions, which operate at the native 720P game resolution with no other platform restrictions. Devil May Cry 4 uses the refined MT Framework game engine, which has been used for many popular Capcom game titles over the past several years.

MT Framework is an exclusive seventh generation game engine built to be used with games developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and PC ports. MT stands for "Multi-Thread", "Meta Tools" and "Multi-Target". Originally meant to be an outside engine, but none matched their specific requirements in performance and flexibility. Games using the MT Framework are originally developed on the PC and then ported to the other two console platforms.

On the PC version a special bonus called Turbo Mode is featured, giving the game a slightly faster speed, and a new difficulty called Legendary Dark Knight Mode is implemented. The PC version also has both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 mode for Microsoft Windows XP and Vista Operating Systems.

It's always nice to be able to compare the results we receive here at Benchmark Reviews with the results you test for on your own computer system. Usually this isn't possible, since settings and configurations make it nearly difficult to match one system to the next; plus you have to own the game or benchmark tool we used.

Devil May Cry 4 fixes this, and offers a free benchmark tool available for download. Because the DMC4 MT Framework game engine is rather low-demand for today's cutting edge multi-GPU video cards, Benchmark Reviews uses the 1280x1024 resolution to test with 8x AA (highest AA setting available to Radeon HD video cards) and 16x AF. The benchmark runs through four test scenes, but scene #2 and #4 are the ones that usually offer a challenge. Displayed below is our result for the test.


The point to using a game like Devil May Cry 4 is that because of its rather low demand on graphics and multi-threaded engine, the frame rate becomes CPU-bound. Taking an average of five tests after dropping the highest and lowest of the seven benchmark runs, we get a more relative impression of how the processor might help or hamper a games frame rate.

Beginning with the AMD Phenom II X3 720 triple-core 2.8GHz processor, we see that three can be as effective (or more) than four as the frame rate reaches 111 FPS in test Scene 2 and the highest result of 127 FPS in test Scene 4. Next was the 2.6GHz Phenom II X4 810, which scored only 109 FPS in Scene 2, and a mere 122 FPS in Scene 4. The 4MB L3 cache may be showing itself, especially when the other two (X3 720 and X4 940) have a 6MB L3 available to them. The AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0GHz processor HDZ940XCGIBOX performed the best on test Scene 2 with 114 FPS, while offering a close second-best on Scene 4 with 126 FPS. Finally, the 2.67GHz Intel Core i7-920 offered the worst performance of the bunch with 108 FPS during Scene 2 tests, and also on Scene 4 wth 117 FPS.

If gaming is the argument for Intel processors, someone needs to go back and re-examine the performance. While it's not entirely unbiased to use a Radeon HD 4870 video card for testing, I felt that ultimately it was more fair than using an NVIDIA product when there are so many games 'tuned' for their hardware over ATI's. Regardless, in our Devil May Cry 4 tests it was apparent that the Core i7-920 doesn't maintain the architectural efficiency to beat out any of the AMD Phenom II processors which cost much less.


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