Call of Duty: Black Ops GPU & CPU Performance In-depth

By Julio Franco ยท 76 replies
Nov 16, 2010
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  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops GPU & CPU Performance In-depth

    We test 19 graphics card configurations, using AMD and Nvidia GPUs that range from the uber-expensive models to budget-minded offerings. On the CPU front, scaling and performance comparisons between dual, triple and quad core processors inside.

    Read the full review at:

    Please leave your feedback here.
  2. blimp01

    blimp01 TS Enthusiast Posts: 144

    Great review this is what I've been waiting for lol.
    I wouldn't think that call of duty would ever be this CPU intensive, my old 775 struggles in this game.
  3. pgcharlie

    pgcharlie TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Sir, u mentioned under cpu performance that i3 540 crashed and burned.. u literally mean burned or was it a technical term?.. i own that processor with Asus H55 mobo with 2 GB RAM, 1 GB Radeon 5700 series card...n i agree with Blimp01.. great review.. thanks
  4. Any chance in getting a SLI / Xfire scaling review for this as well? would be nice to see the numbers.
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,667   +987

    I'd dare to say multi-GPU testing is not really needed with the data you have at your disposal right now. Any graphics card at the level of a GeForce GTX 460 or better will perform solidly when coupled with a quad core or even triple core CPU.

    We can also confirm Crossfire and SLI work just fine on Black Ops, so you will see proper scaling as in other games that are well optimized. Check out these two articles for such scenarios:
  6. SilverCider

    SilverCider TS Rookie Posts: 71

    Ah, makes me happy that I went down the i5 750 route early this year XD. Great review btw :p
  7. whiteandnerdy

    whiteandnerdy TS Member Posts: 69

    I have an i3 540 and i had no trouble getting 50-60 FPS through the entire game (i play with fraps on all the time). My 5850 may have helped a little but i didn't think it was bad. Great game. Great review. thanks
  8. bugejakurt

    bugejakurt TS Booster Posts: 158   +15

    I have a Core 2 Duo E8300 (2.83 Ghz) CPU and it totally freaks out with COD: Black Ops. My 9800GT renders it easily but my CPU is constantly 80-100%. Sometimes it reaches 100% and begin lagging badly. I don't know why but in my opinion I don't have a bad CPU I don't know why theses spikes occur in some situations. Anyone else with this problem? Anyone suggesting a fix?
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +455

    This review made me very happy - just so happened that you used hardware identical to mine and it produced some of the best numbers.
  10. There's something very wrong with you HD 4890, those numbers can't be right!
  11. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    A 9800gt and a 4850 but no 4870? Guess I'll have to extrapolate. Or maybe that's a sign I need a new card....
  12. This performance review is completely premature. There are several known GPU and CPU hitching issues, which would result in inaccurate numbers across the board. I'm disappointed I didn't see more of an emphasis put on this. This performance review will misinform the many people who come here to research what hardware they should buy under the false pretense of a broken game. I suggest either noting that more prevalently in the review or waiting till all of the bugs/gltiches are ironed out for more hardware profiles before you provide such information.
  13. grvalderrama

    grvalderrama TS Enthusiast Posts: 194

    Hey, Guest, bugs have nothing to do with the general performance/requirements of the game. If there were bugs in this review, which I don't believe, you will see a slightly increase in your performance once those bugs are fixed.
  14. pretzelwagon

    pretzelwagon TS Member Posts: 22

    I would agree with the latest comment. While the game's story is pretty good, and it stays true to the classic Call of Duty style, there are some huge FPS (frames per second, not first person shooter) stutter issues. These issues have been addressed for some platforms (allegedly), but I still have freeze-up issues where the screen just drops from a V-synced 60 FPS to 0 for a few seconds. A little disappointed this article didn't touch on that more, and then update later, much like was done with Splinter Cell: Conviction here at TechSpot. Good info, though.
  15. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Not exactly. This is the type of ****ed up game where 2 of the same exact system may have noticeable differentials in performance. At the moment the game on PC doesn't have any bugs. It's a bloody bug to begin with.
  16. pretzelwagon

    pretzelwagon TS Member Posts: 22

    Sorry grvalderrama, your comment hadn't shown up when I posted. I was referring to guest's comment. And typically I would agree with you, but these bugs are so detrimentally attached to the frames per second, and only seems to hit certain platforms and CPU/GPU combinations, that I wonder if it actually does change the average FPS for certain cards/CPUs. Regardless of the overarching effects, completely overlooking this issue is surprising to me.
  17. This game run great on this setting with my Athlon x2 3.0GHz with unlocked Radeon HD4830 :)
  18. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    Asking for a game not to be performance reviewed until all the bugs are fixed is ridiculous. People are buying and playing the game NOW. A performance review is perfectly in order. You could wait for years for all the bugs to be worked out of a game to do a review - what good would it be then?
  19. This isn't a black and white situation. It's utterly ridiculous that no mention of the game breaking GPU hitching problem wasn't mentioned at all in a performance review. Again, hardware performance based on false pretenses of a broken game. It's an injustice to anyone who doesn't know the wiser and reads this misinforming review and an injustice to the hardware manufacturers who are being misrepresented by a bug ridden game. And we're not talking minor bugs, we're talking about bugs that DIRECTLY AFFECT FPS in a negative way.

    Here's an example of spreading mass misinformation, from the review: "Although Black Ops has been out for just a few days, graphics card manufacturers already got their multi-GPU technologies working perfectly with it. This is one advantage of using a tried and true game engine. "

    PERFECTLY?! For shame.

    Elessar (I made the first complaint a few posts back)
  20. FIrstly TOP REVIEW.

    However, I have to agree with the above user. There is a 43 page thread on the OCUK forums regarding the massive inconsistencies in performance. For instance, I have a QX9650 @ 4Ghz + 5970 @ 900/1200 and I am getting massive freezes in game. We have actually had reports of users with overclocked i7's running on Quad Fire 5970's getting the same performance. This is not micro-stuttering people, it's serious LAG. If you don't believe me refer to @pcdev on twitter.

    So on that note, I'm not going to rush out and buy a i7 950 just for this game - yet. I belive there is a MAJOR performance patch coming out either this weekend or the next so I think it's best to wait.

    To the author, is there any chance you could re-run your tests once that update is out?
  21. "So on that note, I'm not going to rush out and buy a i7 950 just for this game - yet."

    This is exactly why this performance review is more than just misinforming. It's flat out detrimental. The uninformed may read this and go out to buy hardware they THINK may run this game better, when in reality it's not their hardware at all. The above poster is smart to wait for a performance patch, but no mention of any of this in the main article is just terrible and may very well end up wasting people's money.
  22. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,271   +455

    Perhaps these graphical hangs or fps drops to 0 were not experienced during the benchmarking process of this review - could that be the case, Steve?
  23. I've been having the same issues Elessar (Guest) has, and I've read many posts on other forums that this is a known issue, for the PC version in particular. The stuttering and FPS slowdown are game-breaking for me, I can't play it at all. My rig is only 19 months old, I'm running a Core2 Duo E8400/3GHz CPU, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT (512MB), with 4GB RAM. There is no reason my rig shouldn't be able to run a game built on a souped-up Quake 3-engine, and run it well. This is a known issue that is not impacted by lowering graphical settings, though I obviously tried that at first.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't do a performance review of a game until all the bugs are fixed--as someone rightly pointed out, that would mean no performance reviews would ever be written. But a performance review is the one place I would absolutely expect to see mention of a widespread performance-crushing bug, and I see no mention of it here.
  24. Excuse me as I am not "pc requirement savy", however I tested mine against Activisions requirement test and and both said I could run the game. Unfortunately like so many others I am unable to play, much less get past the "Press the key" screen as I have crashed with the "blue halo" of death over the cursor.

    Hopefully awaiting a patch/fix. Ironically I can play Medal of Honor Tier 1, go figure.

    Vista 32
    ATI 3650
  25. Ha running Amd x64 athlon 5200+ and gts 250 gpu i get 47-120 fps so how are these stats right they cant be and the game blows on performance and networking why not write a review about that oh forgot not paid to tell the truth.

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