Editor: Jose Vilches

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Gaming Performance

The Athlon II X4 630, Pentium G6950 and Athlon II X3 435 all delivered similar performance when testing with Unreal Tournament 3. Although the Pentium G6950 provided the highest frame rate at 1024x768, the triple and quad-core Athlon II processors were 3% faster at 1920x1200. The Phenom II X2 555 was a few frames per second slower, rendering 141fps at 1920x1200 compared to the 148fps of the Athlon II processors.

Performance then starts to drop off with the Athlon II X2 250 managing just 121fps, which made it 14% slower than the Phenom II X2 555. The Pentium E6600 rendered an average of 111fps, while the Sempron 140 does better than expected at 104fps -- enough to beat Pentium E5400 and Celeron E3300 by 8% and 24% margins.

AMD's processors dominated when testing with Street Fighter IV. The Athlon II X4 630 managed to deliver 190fps at 1920x1200, while the Athlon II X3 435 achieved 187fps and the Phenom II X2 555 averaged 185fps. The latter was 5% faster than the Pentium G6950, which was the fastest Intel processor in this game. The Pentium E6600 was considerably slower at 159fps and was closely followed by the Athlon II X2 250 averaging 156fps.

This time it was the Sempron 140 that provided the worst performance with an average of 90fps, making it 24% slower than the Celeron E3300 and 33% slower than the Pentium E5400. That said, these three low-end processors all delivered poor performance compared to their slightly more expensive counterparts in this roundup.

Far Cry 2 makes good use of multi-cores, though the L3 cache of the Phenom II X2 555 processor appears to play a more vital roll allowing it to outgun the Athlon II X3 435 and Athlon II X4 630 at 1920x1200. In fact, the Phenom II X2 555 was unstoppable in this game, beating the Pentium G6950 by a 19% margin -- or 10fps.

While the majority of the AMD processors tested dominated in Far Cry 2, the $33 Sempron 140 again provided very poor results with just 29fps -- or around 29% less than Intel's slowest tested processor, the Celeron E3300.