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 gets us back to familiar ground, and shows the Intel Skulltrail platform trailing the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 by about 10 frames-per-second. This trend is very familiar through virtually all gaming benchmarks, even ones that we tested but did not include in the review, and it seems that the slower, CAS5 memory is the logical culprit. Pairing the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 with CAS5 DDR2-800 offers similar performance drops, and it's logical to assume this is one of the few chinks in the Skulltrail armor.
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 have reached a limit with the latest quad core models, and even adding an extra 3.2 GHz processor doesn't raise the bar.
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.
Due to the 4-digit results, our Supreme Commander Sim scores can be difficult to quantify, but we're still seeing the Intel Skulltrail performing on par with the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 quad core.