Quake 4 Performance
Quake 4 is the latest in 3D first-person shooters from id Software and Raven, and while the actual storyline is standard fare and the game itself is based on the DOOM 3 engine, the graphics are exceptional and it is an improvement over previous games. The lighting and shadow effects are excellent, and the overall level design and architecture are a real treat. The overall load on the graphics card can be extreme, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the actual hardware you are testing. For this test, we have upgraded to the 1.4 revision, and enabled the game's multi-threaded functionality.
Quake 4 is based on the same engine as DOOM 3, and due to combination of enhanced NVIDIA drivers and in-game multi-core support, it also rewards the extra multithreading of our dual core processors. There is no surprise when it comes to the Athlon X2 BE-2350, and it naturally slides in behind the 2.2 GHz Athlon 64 X2 4200+. What is interesting is the proximity of the Core 2 Duo E6300 to the mainstream AMD processors, with the Athlon 64 X2 4600+ posting an equivalent framerate.
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. This type of benchmarking really helps separate the processor from the mix, while still testing performance in a real-world game. It shows in the results, and while the Athlon X2 BE-2350 is in its usual position, the Core 2 Duo shows some real legs in this particular test.
The Chronicles of Riddick Performance
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is based on the movie franchise of the same name, and provides gamers with a wild mix of kick-ass action and intriguing environments. This hybrid game is similar to what Half-Life brought to the table, as you take the role of escaped can Riddick, and fight your way through some exceptionally rendered game levels. The in-game detail levels are also an important consideration, as moving the Shader Model above 2.0 can turn the game into a slide show, and even at SM 2.0, the game can bring most hardware to its knees.
The Chronicles of Riddick is a very tough game benchmark, and the graphics component seems to be a real limiting factor that brings processor performance closer together. There are absolutely no surprises here, and each of the processors hit scores on par with our expectations.