Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Older gamers will remember Serious Sam from its early beginnings in 2001. The fast-paced shooter translates amazingly well to VR, thanks to Oculus Touch. Incredibly enough, Croteam goes so far as to recommend a Core i7-6800 or equivalent CPU, along with a Radeon R9 Fury or GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card! That’s a $400+ host processor and $400+ GPU.
Despite Serious Sam’s hefty recommendations and our merciless selection of Ultra settings across the board, this game runs smoothly on our GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. To be sure, it’s largely GPU-bound. Only AMD’s FX-8350 needs help from Oculus’ runtime to maintain smooth performance towards the end of our 80-second test, which is when on-screen action is most hectic.
Croteam senior programmer Dean Sekulic confirmed for us that many-core CPUs shouldn’t affect graphics performance much. The Serious Engine 4.5’s multi-threaded renderer is API-agnostic, supporting DX11, DX12, Vulkan, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, and even DX9. But it benefits little beyond a core count of three. The physics and collision system is where more cores help out. Sekulic says he believes it uses all detected cores, minus one.
It’s entirely possible that this physics/collision system, or Skylake-X’s quadrupled L2 cache per core, is responsible for Core i9-7900X’s narrow victory over Core i7-7700K in our derived frame rate measurement.
Core i3 succumbs to Ryzen 7 here (although the Core i3 does drop a few more frames), while FX-8350 presents one figure to sum up the weakness we saw in our frame time over time plot.
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