nVidia is throwing the smack talk around, this time it is nVidia’s technical marketing director Tom Petersen who claims that Core i7 is a waste of money for gamers.
He goes on to say that for gaming having a Core 2 Duo E8400 and an SLI’d Pair of GTS250s (8800GT, 9800GT, but who’s counting) is better than a single GPU and a Core i7.
The interesting thing he does not mention is multi-threaded games that are popping up like patent lawsuits in the coming future. They use games like Crysis Warhead, Fallout 3, Call of Duty: World at War and Far Cry 2 at 1,920 x 1,200 (no AA or AF) But considering there are settings for the CPU I wonder what those were at and how they factored into the testing.
I doubt very much if the E8400 could handle the CPU related tasks all set to max the way a Core 2 Quad or Core i7 would. As an example take a look at Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in testing with a 9800GTX the Core 2 Quad 9770 scored an average of 68.002 while the Core i7 920 came in at 87.943 making the 920 about 30% faster at the same resolution (1920x1200 4xAA 16xAF). COD 4 is a heavily multi-threaded game.
Modern gaming is not all about the GPU or the CPU. Nor is system performance going to be handled by just a single component. For any one company to claim it is their part that makes the experience complete is a crock. As games begin to evolve and develop into more realistic experiences we will see more titles that reply on both the CPU and the GPU for performance. AI [Artificial Intelligence], Positional Sound, non-nVidia Physics, and other portions of a game that are not graphical will begin to demand more cores to run. Game developers recognize this and will be building this into future games. We also know that Havock Physics runs on the CPU[as of this writing] and developers not in bed with nVidia like to use it in their games.
nVidia has a habit of cherry picking its games and tests [as do just about all companies]to get the results they want; in this case their long standing feud with Intel has lead to a series of very ridiculous comments about performance and price from the green PR team. If you were to point out that the Intel Atom chipset did exactly what the ION does in a netbook for less money they would argue the exact opposite of what they are saying here.
nVidia likes to call other people out which is a good thing, but when you do this you have to make sure you are clean at the same time. Something nVidia has a rough time doing lately.