Core i5 650 - 660 and 661 processor review

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Game performance - BIA:HH |Crysis WarHEAD


Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Hells Highway, another WWII shooter some might say. But in reality the setting of war is really just a vehicle for Gearbox to tell the storyline of a Band of Brothers which is led by you, Sergeant Matt Baker, as they deal with the madness and consequences of war. The game tells the story of Operation Market Garden in the country yours truly lives, in the Netherlands (aka Holland). It's about the besieged journey from Eindhoven to Arnhem where tremendous battles were fought.

Exactly that road, Highway 69; the road from Eindhoven to Arnhem was later nicknamed: Hell's Highway.

On of the most impressive details is that the area of Operation Market garden was completely reconstructed by historical documents and images. It's uncanny to see and experience the design of 1944 Holland. Even now in 2008 you can still see striking similarities of our country. Street signs, building structures, clothing, and even the clinker bricks on the roads dispense a true authentic mood. This reviewer is Dutch, so what level would be more appropriate than one of the starting levels, in a field in the Netherlands, moving towards a large windmill ahead of us. Lots of geometry is to be found here and in fact one of the more complex scenes to render for the GPU. Yes, welcome to Holland.

Game time! Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is an interesting title as it is using the Unreal 3 graphics engine. That engine is multi-core optimized, but that by itself doesn't move mountains.

  • Texture Quality HIGH
  • Shadow Texture Quality HIGH
  • Shadow Detail HIGH
  • Vsync OFF

BIA is very multi-core savvy -- The minute it even reeks the quad cores, performance jumps up. And that's great as we can check out what kind of effect a dual/triple/quad core processor can have on overall performance.

But let's fire off a GPU bound title... Crysis WarHEAD.


As in last year's game, expect to encounter dense jungle environments, barren ice fields, Korean soldiers and plenty of flying aliens. There's no denying that this is more of the same, except here it's a more tightly woven experience with a little less freedom to explore.

With a top-end PC (although Warhead has supposedly benefited from an improved game engine you'll still need a fairly beefy system), rest assured, developer Crytek has enhanced more than just the graphics engine.

Vehicles are more fun to drive, firefights are more intense and focused, and aliens do more than just float around you. More emphasis on the open-ended environments would have been welcome, but a more exciting (though shorter) campaign, a new multiplayer mode, and a whole bunch of new maps make Crysis Warhead an excellent expansion to one of last year's best shooters.

Crysis Warhead has good looks. As mentioned before, the game looks better than Crysis, and it runs better too. Our test machine that struggled a bit to run the original at high settings ran Warhead smoothly with the same settings. Yet as much as you may have heard about Crysis' technical prowess, you'll still be impressed when you feast your eyes on the swaying vegetation, surging water, and expressive animations. Outstanding graphics. Couldn't say more here.

Our image quality settings; we opt for the gamers mode. However, we select DirectX 10 mode as well to allow way more hefty shader code which will take a big toll on the GPU, yet also on frame buffer utilization.

  • Level Ambush
  • Codepath DX10
  • Anti aliasing 2xMSAA
  • Ingame Quality mode Gamer

Crysis WarHEAD is a game title that likes more than 2 CPU cores AND likes faster clocked processors, it is however extremely graphics card demanding as well. Observe how incredibly close all processors really are in game performance. After a monitor resolution of 1280x1024 it just doesn't matter on what platform you game with this title.

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