Game Benchmarks: First-Person Shooters
After you have waited so patiently for the game benchmarks, let’s spoil it by starting out with the toughest game in the test suite: Crysis!
First, let’s examine Crysis performance with no anti-aliasing (AA) applied.
Wow. There’s a CPU bottleneck happening at lower resolutions, but as the resolution reaches 1920x1200, that bottleneck is completely erased and the game becomes totally video card dependent—not great news for our system seeing as how our video card overclock was virtually non-existent. While the overclocking results aren’t particularly encouraging, do take note that this system is playing Crysis at maximum detail, 1920x1200 resolution, and getting a 37 frames-per-second (FPS) on average. Not too shabby for a $1,200 system—six months ago, a $1,250 system would be crawling at under 20 FPS at this detail level. Yet, it’s playable on this machine.
Not satisfied with punishing the $1,250 enthusiast system, let’s turn on 4x AA and see what happens:
It’s a testament to the Radeon HD 4870 X2 that the scores have hardly budged. Even 1920x1200 is averaging over 30 FPS, which is on the border of playability, but it’s still fantastic that it’s handling Crysis like this.
Now that we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing our $1,250 gaming system can go the distance, let’s make things a lot easier with Unreal Tournament 3.
With no AA, the $1,250 system runs this game like a hot knife through butter, but we can clearly see the bottleneck shift over to the video card when the CPU is overclocked to 4.25 GHz. It’s only academic really, because all resolutions are quite playable. Let’s see if the trend continues when 4x AA and 8x anisotropic filtering (AF) are applied:
Here we see the maximum gaming return for our overclocking effort. With 4xAA and 8xAF, the bottleneck once again shifts from the CPU to the Radeon 4870, which can handle it just fine. At 1920x1200, the overclock doubles the average frame rate from 40 FPS to 80 FPS!
With first person shooters out of the way, let’s have a look at real-time strategy games, shall we?