Game Benchmarks: Test Drive Unlimited
In March 2007, Atari released the PC version of Test Drive Unlimited, allowing PC gamers to race their dream cars throughout the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu. We use Fraps for a two lap race on the Need for Freedom track. Again, all tests were run three times with consistent results, so the median performance numbers were used. Test Drive Unlimited has very few graphics settings making it hard to get enjoyable performance on a minimum spec system. Options are limited to low/medium/high and a checkbox for HDR lighting. We ran the highest settings, including HDR.
Unlike Need for Speed Carbon, Test Drive Unlimited is multi-threaded and we see the dual-core X2 4200+ easily able to pull ahead of the higher clocked A64 4000+ at lower resolutions. As we turn up the resolution, the limiting factor shifts more to the GPU, but we still see that the dual-core CPUs maintain a higher minimum FPS. The single-core A64 4000+ dropped below 30 FPS at two resolutions, while both dual-core processors managed to maintain at least 33 FPS at all resolutions. The X2 5600+ was able to provide the best overall performance and even managed a slight lead in minimum FPS at 1600x1200.
Enabling 4xAA shows how CPU limited we were with the single-core CPU. At 1024x768, the average FPS remained the same while in contrast we see a large hit for the X2 5600+ enabling FSAA, showing that the GPU is becoming a limit even at this low resolution. With the added demand of 4xAA, the 8800 GS is now far from able to handle 1600x1200. The game was unplayable at these settings, which affected our racing lines and lap times and explains the 2 FPS lead for the X2 4200+.