CodeMasters has done a nice job of building benchmarks into its recent games, and F1 2010 is no exception. We scripted up test runs at three different display resolutions, with some very high visual quality settings, to get a sense of how much difference a CPU might make in a real-world gaming scenario where GPU bottlenecks can come into play.
We also went to some lengths to fiddle with the game's multithreaded CPU support in order to get it to make the most of each CPU type. That effort eventually involved grabbing a couple of updated config files posted on the CodeMasters forum, one from the developers and another from a user, to get an optimal threading map for the Phenom II X6. What you see below should be the best possible performance out of each processor.
The results at the two higher resolutions underscore a dynamic that AMD and Nvidia have been banging on about: if your GPU is the primary performance limiter, a CPU upgrade may not do you much good. That's a noteworthy practical point, but we'll still want to focus on the lower-resolution results in order to compare CPU performance.
At 1280x800, both the FX-8150 and our "pretend" FX-8120 are faster than any other processor AMD has fielded to date, and the FX-8150 isn't far from hitting that GPU wall at around 65 FPS.
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