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Many infected, few fps

Left 4 Dead 2: CPU benchmarks - Phenom II very strong

Like the first part, Left 4 Dead 2 benefits a lot from a fast CPU. PC Games Hardware ran benchmarks with twelve processors.
Left 4 Dead 2 (4)
 
Left 4 Dead 2 (4) [Source: view picture gallery]
Left 4 Dead 2: Introduction and Engine
Although Valve once again used the Source engine for Left 4 Dead 2, the developers nevertheless modified the structure for the new game. According to Chet Faliszek, inventor of Left 4 Dead, the developers enhanced for example the shaders, the lighting, the particles and the water. Multi-core support, diverse (Post) effects like Color Correction, Motion Blur and FP16-HDR as well as Film Grain are still integrated. Due to Soft Shadows, Self Shadowing, Normal Maps and Wet Surfaces the sceneries appear a little more realistic than before. The Havok physics engine top the technical features of Left 4 Dead 2 off.

Left 4 Dead 2 (10)
 
Left 4 Dead 2 (10) [Source: view picture gallery]
Left 4 Dead 2 (9)
 
Left 4 Dead 2 (9) [Source: view picture gallery]
Left 4 Dead: Benchmark sequence and results
For our benchmarks we use a 60 second real-time demo sequence which takes place in the park from the second chapter of the "The Parish” Campaign. In the scene we have several Bommers and a Splitter as well as a lot of ordinary enemies. We use a Radeon HD 5870 to display the demo at 1680 x 1050 with maximal details and with as well as without 4x MSAA and 16:1 AF. So all in all the setting is quite challenging for the CPU. We are using the German cut version which runs about 40 percent faster than the international uncut version.

Left 4 Dead 2 benefits a lot from three respectively for cores and thus an Intel C2Q Q6600 is, without AA/AF, almost 45 percent faster than its dual-core counterpart, the C2D E6600. With 4x MSAA/16:1 AF the difference isn't lowered much. An AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE finally is fast enough to run into the graphics limitation (about 130 frame per second on average) - faster CPUs only increase the minimal framerate. As you can see from the results without AA/AF, the Phenom II CPUs are doing quite well and the X4 965 BE is on the same level as the Intel Core i5-750; the X3 720 BE is only slightly behind the Q9650 while the X2 550 BE beats the C2D E8400 noticeably. A Core i7-920 running at 3.5 GHz (Uncore at 2.8 GHz, DDR3-1400) can't really distance itself from the rest - it reaches a max fps results of up to 300 which actually is the engine limit.

Although Left 4 Dead 2 benefits a lot from more than two cores, you are well equipped with a processor like the C2D E6600 or the X2 6400+. Only during the final wave of infected, the framerate drops below 40 fps. So if you want to play Left 4 Dead 2 smoothly in any critical situation, you should have a C2Q Q6600 or a Phenom II X3 720 BE or a faster processor. Intel's SMT does not slow down the game, but doesn't increase the performance either.





Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

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Author: Marc Sauter (Nov 09, 2009)






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Comments (7)

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pcghx_Marc Re: Left 4 Dead 2: CPU benchmarks - Phenom II very strong
PCGH Editor
12.11.2009 13:14
PCGH, you guys always do the best CPU comparisons in new games, is it possible for you guys to make a chart with all the game you have tested which use more than 2 cores?
iirc in our print magazine there was a chart like this. Nice idea.
Yapa Re: Left 4 Dead 2: CPU benchmarks - Phenom II very strong
Senior Member
10.11.2009 05:51
Not a game I'm interested in, but good to see more and more games using more than 2 cores on the PC.

Some if it has to do with the fact that most games are console ports, and consoles run on 3 or more cores, but an engine such as Source is mainly for the PC, and not long ago (when L4D came out) was only single core.

I remember when Valve patched TF2 to support Dual core, it made a lot of people happy with low end dual cores, which were struggling with 1 core.

PCGH, you guys always do the best CPU comparisons in new games, is it possible for you guys to make a chart with all the game you have tested which use more than 2 cores?

It would be good to see such a chart, I dont believe anything like that exists at the moment. We all know 9/10 PC games these days use 2 cores, but how many use 3, or 4? or more? Would be good to have a chart which shows 3 or 4 or more cores

Yapa
CORE2QUAD Re: Left 4 Dead 2: CPU benchmarks - Phenom II very strong
Junior Member
09.11.2009 20:40
I don't know why there is no i7 920 @ stock speed ?

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