Arma II: Operation Arrowhead is a notorious system hog, pushing CPUs, memory and graphics cards to their limit in the pursuit of ultra-realistic modern-day combat. As such, it's a great test to see how a processor can affect your frame rate.
We load the same custom mission preview that we use for graphics card and motherboard testing, but force AA or AF off through the Nvidia driver as we want to place more emphasis on the CPU than the graphics card. The mission preview repeats the same procedure consistently each time and we record the frame rate for 60 seconds using FRAPS. This test is repeated three times and the average taken, discarding anomalous results as appropriate.
Total War games have been making grown PCs cry ever since the original Shogun was released in 2000. The many units, model animations, AI routines and the usual physics and object collision make Shogun 2 as hard a task to run for the CPU as the graphics card.
We use the built-in CPU test, launched by right-clicking on the game in your Steam library. This stages a scripted battle, where we watch the action at a reasonably zoomed-in level. We leave the detail settings at default, though we force AA and AF off through the Nvidia driver, and record the action for 60 seconds using FRAPS.
Shogun 2: Total War CPU Test
1,920 x 1,080, default settings, no AA, no AF
Intel Core i5-2500K (5GHz)
Intel Core i7-2600K (5GHz)
Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition (4.6GHz)
Intel Core i7-920 (4.04GHz)
Intel Core i7-2600K (3.4GHz)
Intel Core i5-2500K (3.3GHz)
Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition (3.46GHz)
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition (4.2GHz)
Intel Core i7-920 (2.66GHz)
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition (3.3GHz)
AMD FX-8150 (4.818GHz)
AMD FX-8150 (3.6GHz)
frames per second, higher is better
Note: an issue with the Steam version of Shogun 2 and the FX-8150 caused the system to crash when it tried to load the level. AMD is looking into the situation.