Empire: Total War - Benchmarks with 14 CPUs
With lots of units, a complex particle system and a good physics, Empire: Total War is primarily stressing the CPU. PC Games Hardware tested 14 processors and checked their performance in the game.
Empire: Total War - Introduction
As common among strategy games with a high unit density the processor is the important component for Empire: Total War although HDR Rendering, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), Post Processing (e.g. Depth of Field) and the visualization of water are giving the graphics cards a lot to do, too.
Empire: Total War - Test method and Benchmark
Since you can't save during a battle in Empire: Total War, we start the challenging marine battle "Mediterranean Sea” twice and run three 30 seconds benchmarks each time. We begin recording the frame rate as soon as all the ships of all the four players are visible. Those six results were averaged. As usually this scene is a worst case scenario and only land based battles with four players with a fully zoomed in camera are more challenging.
As already explained in the article Empire: Total War uses two CPU cores at most, triple or quad core CPUs are only slightly faster than models with two cores. Therefore a Q6600 and a E6600 are head to head and the Phenom X2 7750 BE can beat the Phenom X4 9950 although it has a 100 MHz lower core frequency. Surprisingly AMD's Phenom aren't doing very well in general, so for example the Intel Q9550 is about 20 percent faster than the X4 940 - usually those two are on the same level.
Conclusion: The "Runs great on Intel Core i7” logo on the back of the Empire: Total War box isn't just an eye catcher. The i7 series dominates the field of competitors followed by the strong Core 2 models. AMD's Phenoms can't keep the pace and even on the fastest Athlon 64 X2, the 6400+, Empire: Total War is running anything else than smooth.
More articles related to Empire: Total War:
• Empire: Total War uses two CPU cores at most
• Empire: Total War - Minimal system requirements are official, new release date