Testing – Gaming
Again, the differences between the two systems prevented a real comparison due to the unavailability of DX10 on XP. Since the GTX 260 is such a powerful video card, (and currently a great bang-for-the-buck purchase in its own right) I decided to throw in results from using it with my Intel i7 920. This is in no way a comparison between the X3 720 and the i7, I just wanted to see how much of a bottleneck the X3/785G would create to prevent the GTX 260 from seeing its full potential. Keep in mind that an i7/X58 system would easily start out at twice the cost of a system built with the Phenom II X3 720 and the ASRock M3A785GMH/128M motherboard.
I ran my favorite three DX10 gaming benchmarks on the X3 720.Crysis, Call of Juarez, and PT Boats: Knights of the Sea.
Though it has been out for just shy of two years now, I still find Crysis the best benchmark for gaming systems. I don’t know of any game that puts so much stress on the CPU and memory, and still is very VGA intensive. It will find those system instabilities not found by Prime95, Sandra Burn-in, and the Futuremark series, especially in memory. It is my favorite software for testing overclocks. I used the Crysis Benchmark Test by Boris Vergiza, settings were: CPU Benchmark, DX10, High, AA x 2, 1280 x 1024.
PT Boats prefers a strong CPU and powerful video card. It has some tough camera angle changes that really affect the FPS scores. I used the standalone performance test, settings were High, AA x 2, 1280 x 1024.
Call of Juarez requires a strong system for any kind of decent frame rate. I used the standalone demo benchmark, settings were: High, AA x 2, 1280 x 1024.