German tech site PC Games Hardware compared the performance of 14 processors in Empire: Total War. For their test the site used a "Mediterranean Sea" seafight with all details on max at 1680 x 1050 pixels, without any MSAA or AF.
The graphics card used in this intense test was a GeForce GTX 280, and the performance of all processors wasn't exactly spectacular. The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 overlcocked to 4GHz pulled in the best score, but it's still only 15.9 frames per second. The Core i7 series from Intel fares a lot better than AMD's Phenom II, but framerates of 11-15FPS aren't exactly enjoyable.
The "Runs great on Intel Core i7” logo on the back of the Empire: Total War box isn't just an eye catcher. The i7 series dominates the field of competitors followed by the strong Core 2 models. AMD's Phenoms can't keep the pace and even on the fastest Athlon 64 X2, the 6400+, Empire: Total War is running anything else than smooth.