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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Publisher: Activision

One of the biggest game releases of last year was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. With a huge cross-platform multiplayer following, we have decided to include Modern Warfare 2 because of its appeal to many FPS players.

We set Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to the highest available settings, with V-Sync disabled. We manually played the first part of the Special Ops Alpha, Suspension Bridge campaign for 90 seconds, three times over with FRAPS 3.03 and took an average result.

How many CPU cores do games need? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 How many CPU cores do games need? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Click to enlarge

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (ATI)

1,920 x 1,080, Maximum Detail, 0xAA, 16xAF, DirectX 9

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 3 CPU Cores
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 5 CPU Cores
  • 6 CPU Cores
    • 64
    • 87
    • 120
    • 151
    • 128
    • 173
    • 127
    • 177
    • 127
    • 175
    • 128
    • 175
0
50
100
150
200
Frames per second (higher is better)
  • Minimum FPS
  • Average FPS

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Nvidia)

1,920 x 1,080, Maximum Detail, 0xAA, 16xAF, DirectX 9

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 3 CPU Cores
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 5 CPU Cores
  • 6 CPU Cores
    • 38
    • 69
    • 106
    • 142
    • 124
    • 157
    • 124
    • 163
    • 122
    • 164
    • 129
    • 165
0
25
50
75
100
125
150
175
Frames per second (higher is better)
  • Minimum FPS
  • Average FPS

CPU usage in-game

How many CPU cores do games need? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Click to enlarge. Ignore the last 15 seconds of graph - that was me alt+tabbing out of the game to get a screenshot.

Three cores and over sees the performance plateau for Modern Warfare 2. Two cores gets most of the way there and using a single core sees the performance drop in half. ATI takes a little less of a performance hit than Nvidia with a dual-core CPU in min-FPS as well.

We can see from the CPU graph that two cores in blue and yellow are being used very heavily, with a third in red flirting between 30-50 per cent use, and the rest remaining sub 20 per cent.