Articles: CPU

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Call of Duty 2

The last game we are going to look at today is Call of Duty 2. even though it is based on Quake 3 engine, it looks very up-to-date and moreover, has very strict system requirements. Although, this has mostly to do with the graphics subsystem, of course. For some reason, the game developers freed the CPU of its usual routine tasks: the enemies behavior models are managed by scripts and not by the game AI, besides the physics is not calculated as thoroughly as in many other contemporary shooters. The results are obvious: the gaming performance in Call of Duty 2 is primarily limited by the graphics card and hardly depends on the CPU power.

Our tests prove this statement with all certainty. We carried out the tests in 1024x768 with disabled full-screen anti-aliasing and medium level of detail.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the overall fps rate is quite average in this game in general. As we see, it is not the slow processors that we should blame for that, as the processors performance doesn’t scale down that much in Call of Duty 2. The game must be very demanding on the graphics subsystem. Therefore, the processors do not have that much influence on the fps rate as in other games we have already discussed.

However, we can still observe certain tendencies. First of all, I would like to stress pretty good results of the Pentium 4 processors in Call of Duty 2. We can actually state that they are running on equal terms with Athlon 64. And this is a true wonder for the gaming applications. Pentium 4 3.8GHz CPU appears faster than Athlon 64 4000+ and Athlon 64 3800+, yielding only to Athlon 64 FX solutions.

The second surprise is good dual-core architecture support. Just like in Quake 4, Athlon 64 X2 and Pentium D outperform single-core CPUs working at the same clock speed. The additional core in Athlon 64 X2 allows them to catch up with the single-core K8 processors working at about 200MHz higher clock speed. If we try to make the same analogy for the Pentium D processor, the “cost of the second core” will get as high as additional 600MHz.

Here I would like to stress that Pentium Extreme Edition 840 performs pretty weakly in Call of Duty 2, as well as in Quake 4. Each physical core of this CPU consists of two virtual cores managed by the Hyper-Threading technology, however, the processor is still defeated by the dual-core Pentium D 840 with no virtual cores at all. The modified Quake 3 and Doom III gaming engines seem to be optimized for multi-threaded calculations performing them in two parallel streams. However, the task manager cannot distribute these streams to actual physical cores of the Pentium Extreme Edition 840. These streams seem to be sent to the virtual cores, which are evidently considerably slower.

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