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Unreal Tournament 3
As you saw on the preceding page, I did manage to find a couple of CPU-limited games to use in testing. I decided to try to concoct another interesting scenario by setting up a 24-player CTF game on UT3's epic Facing Worlds map, in which I was the only human player. The rest? Bots controlled by the CPU. I racked up frags like mad while capturing five 60-second gameplay sessions for each processor.

Oh, and the screen resolution was set to 1280x1024 for testing, with UT3's default quality options and "framerate smoothing" disabled.

The Phenom II processors perform quite well in this game, as well, clearly outrunning their direct price competition. With a host of bots to control, UT3 seems to take advantage of more than two CPU cores. Then again, with these frame rates, any of these processors will run this game quite smoothly.

Half Life 2: Episode Two
Our next test is a good, old custom-recorded in-game timedemo, precisely repeatable.

AMD's naming scheme would seem to make perfect sense based on these results. The Phenom II X4 940 just outruns the Core i7-940, while the Phenom II X4 920 also edges out the Core i7-920.

Source engine particle simulation
Next up is a test we picked up during a visit to Valve Software, the developers of the Half-Life games. They had been working to incorporate support for multi-core processors into their Source game engine, and they cooked up some benchmarks to demonstrate the benefits of multithreading.

This test runs a particle simulation inside of the Source engine. Most games today use particle systems to create effects like smoke, steam, and fire, but the realism and interactivity of those effects are limited by the available computing horsepower. Valve's particle system distributes the load across multiple CPU cores.

The two Phenom IIs come back to earth a little here, just trailing the Q9400 and Q9300, respectively.