The FXs and Extreme Editions
After our previous experiences with F.E.A.R., we were almost expecting Quake 4 to demonstrate similar scaling characteristics. After all, with deep roots in the Doom 3 engine, this is a demonstration of cutting-edge graphics technology.
Fortunately, thereís some definite CPU dependency at 1600x1200, even under the Ultra Quality setting, which uses more than 500MB of texture information. With that said, most of the benefit seems to come from AMDís Athlon 64 FX architecture, as the four models tested lay down similar numbers regardless of clock speed. Intelís Pentium 4 Extreme Edition series trails slightly. The difference isnít massive, but thatís certainly not what you want to see after spending more than a grand on a processor.
Dropping to 1024x768 exposes a more pronounced gap, as the load applied to NVIDIAís GeForce 7800 GTX relaxes somewhat. Although anyone who spends this much on a CPU will probably want to run higher resolutions, we at least see uniform CPU scaling, whereas F.E.A.R was still graphics-bound at 1024x768.