As you know, it is the graphics subsystem that most often determines the overall performance of a computer in modern games. Therefore we run gaming tests in our CPU reviews without full-screen antialiasing and at low resolutions. So, the results are not indicative of how fast the particular game can run on modern computers but rather how well the tested CPUs can cope with gaming load. This can give us some insight into the future when graphics cards will get faster, making the CPU the limiting factor.
We’ve got expected results here. Top-performance CPUs are not really necessary in most games because the frame rate is going to be limited by the graphics card’s speed. Even at low resolutions and without FSAA the Core i7 series processors deliver close results. In other words, top-of-the-line CPUs, like Intel’s six-core ones, may only be interesting in some particular situations. They only show their full potential in a few games and only if you have a high-performance multi-GPU graphics subsystem. Generally speaking, each Core i7 series processor is more than enough for any gaming configuration.