Everything we said in our previous article called Contemporary CPUs and New Games: No Way to Delusions! was absolutely right. It is true: you don’t need a high-end processor for real gaming with realistic settings and high image quality. The gaming performance will still be limited by the graphics card. The recommended system requirements mentioned by all the game developers are absolutely correct. Do not be surprised that the game developers mention Pentium 4 3GHz+ and Athlon 64 2GHz+ processors as the minimum suitable CPUs for comfortable gameplay, even though today we can get 3.8GHz Intel CPUs and 2.8GHz AMD CPUs easily. It is true that faster CPUs than those mentioned in the minimum system requirements do not really stimulate and significant fps rate increase. So, the slower processors models from the Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 processor families can cope easily with the latest generation 3D shooters. So, if you already have one of those CPUs in your home system, then you shouldn’t worry about upgrading them for your gaming needs.
The low-end processors is a totally different story. Here we can actually see that the CPU speed does affect the fps rate in many latest gaming titles. Although, there are some opposite examples, such as F.E.A.R., for instance.
It is evident that Sempron processors perform better in games than Celeron D. moreover; overclocked Sempron CPUs can sometimes run almost as fast as the top processor models. Unfortunately, Celeron D cannot boast the same success from overclocking.
So, the best gaming system configuration from the price-to-performance point of view should definitely include a powerful graphics card, which will determine not only the image quality, but the gaming comfort in general. As for the CPU, you shouldn’t spend tons of money for a high-end model. You will be able to get almost the same performance from a CPU like Athlon 64 3200+ or Pentium 4 650.
And in conclusion I would like to say a few words about overclocking. The results suggest that only if you have a budget CPU overclocking might be a good idea for you. By increasing the CPU working frequency beyond the nominal value, you can really speed up your gaming system, sometimes even up to the high-end CPUs level. However, if you have a mainstream processor or better, overclocking will have no real effect on the frames per second you get in the latest 3D shooters.