Results: Valve Tests and Skyrim

 Valve Particle Map Test

A few years back Valve put out a couple of multi-threaded tests. The first is a particle test that measures multi-threaded CPU performance in a 3D setting. It tackles four scenes which feature heavy particle effects, which are all handled by the CPU.

Even overclocked the FX-6200 is not as fast as the X6 1100T. We could be looking at some compiler issues, but the results are still disappointing.

Valve Map Compilation Test

This multi-threaded test is a map compilation tool which, among other things, determines the static lighting for the entire map. This is a pretty computationally heavy benchmark, and while it is multi-threaded, it may not be as efficient when going above four threads (or non-power of two).

Considering the previous benchmarks, this one is not a surprise. The FX-6200 is again slower than the rest, and even when overclocked it cannot overcome the X6 1100T and X4 980. Very disappointing.


For my true gaming test, I chose Skyrim. This title, while still DirectX 9.0 based, is heavily CPU dependent. It has a goodly amount of multi-threading supported by the engine. It still relies heavily on good, fast, single thread performance as well. I take a manual run through Whiterun captured with FRAPS. Graphics are set at 1680×1050 with 8X AA, 16X AF, and Ultra settings enabled.

When I said this game was CPU bound, I was not kidding. At stock speeds the X4 980 is the fastest offering. The FX-6200 again trails the X6 1100T by around 5%. Once the FX-6200 is overclocked, then performance really perks up. It finally seems to come awake in a gaming situation and thoroughly trounces everything else. To get that performance though, it certainly needs to be overclocked. This could be a situation where the larger per core L2 cache and larger L3 cache trumps that of the older 45 nm Phenom II processors. It is no secret that games such as this really like a lot of cache on the processor.


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