WoW - Wrath of the Lich King: CPU benchmarks with Phenom II and Core i5
World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King is still one of the most played game ever. PC Games Hardware therefore made a benchmark roundup with 15 processors, including AMD Phenom II and Athlon 64, Intels new Core i5/i7 (Lynnfield) and several Core 2.
Wrath of the Lich King: Testing area and setting
The first Lich King world is the basis for our performance tests: the Howling Fjord. The spacious area consequently focuses on the qualities of the improved WotLK Engine: Enormous sighting distance combined with a better streaming, soft shadows and beautiful particle orgies such as mist and spell effects are not only demanding for the processor but for the memory as well. Our bench sequence shows an 80 second flight from Fort Wildervar to Westguard Keep. In contrast to most of the benchmarks we usually do the WotKL flight is not really demanding. However, a big raid is not reproducible and a benchmark would take lots of effort.
Wrath of the Lich King: Graphic settings
We chose practical graphics details: We test with maximum details which means we used the Ultra Video mode that came with patch 3.1. - however, we only played with second highest shadow details. The second option worth mentioning can be found in the graphics menu - Input Lag. This setting reduces the fps rate by at least 30 percent as well - so we deactivate it. The rest of the options are activated and maximized respectively.
Wrath of the Lich King: Test results
World of Warcraft is not much better playable with more than two cores; the only exception is the streaming. That's why for instance a C2E E6600 and a C2Q Q6600 clearly differ in minimum fps but the average fps is nearly the same. Furthermore Wrath of the Lich King does not like activated Simultaneous Multithreading much: Players should deactivate SMT and Core i7-860 as well as i7-920 gain an fps plus of 25 percent. Since the Core i5-750 does not offer SMT this system is not affected. Quite noticeable is the heavily needed bandwidth of WoW: The Phenom II X4 940 BE and Phenom II X4 945 both have a clock rate of 3.0 GHz - the first computes in combination with DDR2-1066 (5-5-5-18), the latter with DDR3-1333 (7-7-7-21). The calculational bandwidth advantage of more than 20 percent results in a better fps rate of 8 percent only.
Concerning performance our test results are as we expected: The top position is a Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.5 GHz (RAM and Uncore area are overclocked as well) with deactivated SMT and deactivated turbo mode - however, this processor is at its graphics limit. The C2E QX9770 (400x10) overclocked to 4.0 GHz and the Phenom II X4 955 BE (Core: overclocked to 3.9 GHz and Northbridge to 2.4 GHz) tightly follow.
The best system with standard clock rate is the Core i7-860 (2.8 GHz), followed by i7-920 (2.67 GHz) and i5-750 (2.67 GHz) as well as the Phenom II X4 965 BE (3.4 GHz). The C2Q Q9650 (3.0 GHz) is as fast as the Phenom II X4 955 BE (3.2 GHz - not in the table). The Phenom II X3 720 BE (2.8 GHz) is behind the Phenom II X2 550 BE (3.1 GHz). Slowier CPUs are not recommended since the raids demand a good performance.
More interesting articles about WoW - Wrath of the Lich King:
• WoW: Wrath of the Lich King - Benchmarks with Ati and Nvidia graphics cards
• World of Warcraft 3.1: New WoW Ultra Video Mode benchmark review
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