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Dawn of War 2

Dawn of War 2

Publisher: THQ

The sequel to Relic's incredibly popular Dawn of War series takes the legendary Warhammer 40k universe to another level, with the player slogging through hordes of Orks, Eldar and swarming Tyranids with the Space Marines of the Blood Ravens. It's a little different to traditional RTS titles, with emphasis placed on small scale squad tactics rather than tank rushes and superweapons, but with RTS maestro Relic behind the reins, the result is one of the best strategy games in ages.

It's a looker too, running on a modified version of Relic's Essence Engine, Essence 2.0, a more demanding version of the engine used in the Company of Heroes series. This makes for some pretty demanding graphics and while the single player campaign is specifically limited to keep the unit count down and the performance up, the game's multiplayer can get much more demanding when dozens of squads and literally hundreds of units hit the screen at the same time.

Thoughtfully Relic has included an excellent in-game benchmark in the game's performance tab which is very representative of real world gameplay. Sadly though, the scores it produces seem to be bugged (minimum frame rates in particular are all over the place), so we've subbed in FRAPS to capture the average and minimum frame rates over this very demanding time demo.

How many CPU cores do games need? Dawn of War 2
Click to enlarge

Dawn of War 2 (ATI)

1,920 x 1,080, Maximum Detail, 0xAA, 16xAF, DirectX 10

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 3 CPU Cores
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 5 CPU Cores
  • 6 CPU Cores
    • 13
    • 36
    • 21
    • 70
    • 27
    • 73
    • 28
    • 74
    • 28
    • 74
    • 27
    • 73
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Frames per second (higher is better)
  • Minimum FPS
  • Average FPS

Dawn of War 2 (Nvidia)

1,920 x 1,080, Maximum Detail, 0xAA, 16xAF, DirectX 10

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 3 CPU Cores
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 5 CPU Cores
  • 6 CPU Cores
    • 13
    • 36
    • 22
    • 63
    • 25
    • 67
    • 26
    • 68
    • 26
    • 68
    • 25
    • 68
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Frames per second (higher is better)
  • Minimum FPS
  • Average FPS

CPU usage in-game

How many CPU cores do games need? Dawn of War 2
Click to enlarge

Dawn of War 2 is not very heavily threaded. With a predominance on the one (red) core and a second following up behind, the rest sit quite idle at sub 10 per cent. However from a FPS standpoint, a dual-core gets you most of the performance, but a triple-core or better offers enough overhead to not limit the game in anyway.