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.
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.
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.
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As Petersen points out, this test "is designed to show CPU difference, it doesn't actually measure gameplay, it doesn't actually measure anything about game performance. Sure enough, if you do that test you will see Core i7 running faster, but I think it's a little disingenuous to call that game performance."
To prove his point, Petersen outlined two types of PC, which he likened to cars - the Hummer and the Beamer. Petersen described the Hummer, saying that it "has got to be big, and it's got to be expensive and of course it's infused with Hafnium, which is kind of a dig at Intel. It has a Core i7, which is Intel's latest, greatest CPU that they claim is the best for gaming." The Hummer features a Core i7, 4GB of RAM, an X58 motherboard and a single GeForce GTS 250. Meanwhile, the Beamer swaps out the Core i7 CPU for a basic Core 2 Duo E8400, an nForce 750i motherboard and a pair of GeForce GTS 250 cards in SLI.