All Falcon 4 (FreeFalcon 3.1) tests were run at a resolution of 1024×768 and with identical in-game settings configured on both systems. The first test consisted of a simple high-altitude, 2-bird flight over a non-combat zone, whereas the second is a flight that immediately comes under SAM fire upon take-off. In addition to just giving the average frame rate scores we decided to also include the low and high numbers from each test, along with the time in seconds it took for each mission to load. The hard drives in both test systems were defragged between each test.
Note: Click on the charts to see an enlarged version.
This first test gave a surprise or two. The initial one was that despite Falcon 4’s SMP support neither the 840 nor the 820 were able to overcome the higher clock speed of the 670’s 3.8GHz frequency. This is hardly too shocking for the 820 considering that it gives up a full 1GHz in clock rate, but we expected the Extreme Edition 840 to fare better than it did in this particular test. In contrast, while AMD’s FX-55 outscored the 670 by just a few frames it was the 4800+ that clearly dominated its competition in this test, blasting past both single- and dual-cores with a commanding performance lead and outscoring the comparatively priced EE 840 by over 50%.
The load times for all five CPUs were consistent to type, with the dual cores giving considerably faster times than the single-core processors. While the high-end 4800+ and 840 tied with 14 seconds the D Model 820 was actually closer to the load times of the single cores, a mere two seconds faster than the 3.8 GHz 670. SimHQ wondered if the lack of Hyper-Threading support played a small role above and beyond the clock speed difference in the 820’s longer load time, so HT was disabled in the motherboard BIOS for the 840 and Test 1 reloaded, yet the processor nevertheless repeated its previous time of 14 seconds.
The following is a frame rate graph showing the frames per second results from Test 1 as recorded by Fraps.