AMD Phenom X3 8750 review

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8 - Game testing


3DMark 06

Literally millions and millions of benchmark results have been submitted to Futuremarks Online ResultBrowser database. It has become a point of great prestige to be the holder of the highest 3DMark score. A compelling, easy-to-use interface has made 3DMark very popular among game enthusiasts. Futuremarks latest benchmark series, 3DMark03 up-to 3DMark06, continues this tradition by providing a Microsoft DirectX 9 benchmark.

The introduction of DirectX 9 and new hardware shader technologies puts a lot of power in the hands of game developers. Increasingly realistic 3D games will be available over the next year and a half. The use of 3D graphics will become more accessible to other applications areas and even operating systems.

Roughly 10100 points, that's pretty good actually.

Gaming: F.E.A.R.

As many of you will be aware, F.E.A.R (or First Encounter Assault & Recon in short) involves a rather mysterious looking girl in a red dress, a man with an unappetizing taste for human flesh and some rather flashy action set pieces aka The Matrix. All of this is brought together by one of the best game engines around.

F.E.A.R. makes its cinematic pretensions clear from the start. As soon as the credits roll, and the music starts, you are treated to the full works. The camera pans across scores of troops locked 'n' loaded and ready to hunt you down, all seemingly linked to 'Paxton Fettel', a strange kind of guy with extraordinary psychic power capable of controlling battalions of soldiers and a habit of feeding off any poor unfortunate innocents - presumably to aid his powers of concentration. It doesnt end there, after a short briefing at F.E.A.R. HQ you are sent off to hunt down Fettel equipped with reflexes that are 'off the chart'. These reflexes are put to excellent use, with a slow motion effects like that of Max Payne, or the before mentioned Matrix. But here, it is oooohhhh so much more satisfying thanks to the outstanding environmental effects. Sparks fly everywhere, as chunks of masonry are blasted from the walls and blood splatters from your latest victim. The physics are just great, with boxes sent flying, shelves tipped over, and objects hurtling towards your head. And the explosions, well, the explosions just have to be seen, and what's so great about this is you can witness it in all its glory in slow motion.

Let me confirm to you that based on this, F.E.A.R. will have you shaking on the edge of your seat, if not falling off it. The tension is brought to just the right level with key moments that will make your heart leap. Play the demo and you will see what I mean. The key to this, is the girl. Without revealing anything significant, lets just say that she could take on the whole of Mars for creepiness.

Image Quality setting:

  • 4x Anti Aliasing
  • 16x anisotropic filtering
  • Soft Shadows Disabled

When we load up FEAR, we notice an anomoly that apparently kicks in at 1024x768; yet that resolution only ... we have no clue just yet as to what is happening there. We double checked and verified all settings. Hey, these things happen.

An important side-note
In case you are wondering why there are no Core 2 Q6600 in the results here. Two reasons, our primary graphics card test system is equipped with a X6800 processor, which pretty much is the same as the Core 2 Duo E8400. That processor is priced at roughly 205 USD, not that far away from the X3 and X4 processors.

CPU cores wise whether you have 2, 3 or 4 CPU cores it will seriously not make a difference with today's games, as 99.99% of them will only utilize a maximum of two simultaneous threads. For that matter a faster dual-core processor will give you more performance than a slightly slower 3 or 4 core processor. The benchmarks clearly acknowledge this.

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