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MSI 870A Fuzion X-Mode Testing w/ R5870 Lightning & N465GTX Twin Frozr

By: Sean Kalinich | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 8, 2010 12:17 pm
Manufacturer: MSI

Here we have our real gaming tests. Each of the games we chose uses multiple cores and GPUs. They are able to stress the system through use of good AI. Both have decent positional audio that adds impact to the sound subsystem of the board. We ran each game through the level or parts listed and recorded frame per second using FRAPS. This brings the whole game into play.


Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (DX9)


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
Timedemo or Level Used: First combat until the school is cleared
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:


Most of you know about the game Modern Warfare 2, it caused quite a bit of controversy in the latter half of 2009. The game is a first person shooter with a heavy combat emphasis. It follows the events in the first Modern Warfare very closely and brings back several characters from the original.


As with most games in the Call of Duty franchise, it features a heavy AI load. This is not because of a complex AI routine, but more due to the sheer number of enemies in any given combat situation. It is also our single DX9 based game in our testing suite. Settings are shown below.








With only an 8 FPS jump from using the single R5870 to the Fuzion configuration it is hardly worth the effort. We also saw minimal improvement when the N465GTX was in the driver seat. We hope this is not a trend in real world gaming.


Far Cry 2 (DX10)


Version and / or Patch Used: V1.00
Timedemo or Level Used: Clearing the Safe house through to the Rescue
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage: http://www.


Far Cry 2 is a large sandbox style game. There are no levels here so as you move about the island you are on you do not have to wait for the "loading" sign to go away. It is mission driven so each mission is what you would normally think of as the next "level".


In the game you take the role of a mercenary who has been sent to kill the Jackal. Unfortunately your malaria kicks in and you end up being found by him. Long story short, you become the errand boy for a local militia leader and run all over the island doing his bidding. Settings we used for testing are shown below.






Ouch, running Far Cry 2 things actually slowed down when running Fuzion. I hope this is a driver issue and one that can be corrected quickly.


Battlefield Bad Company 2 (DX11)


Version and / or Patch Used: V1.00
Timedemo or Level Used: From washing up on the beach to the mine fields.
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:


Battlefield Bad Company is another sequel and also another game "franchise". Bad Company 2 is also our DX11 Shooter game. The game follows a fictitious B company team on a mission to recover a Japanese defector. This puts you back in World War II (at least for the beginning of the game) while the multi-player game is centered on much more modern combat. For our testing we used the single player mode. Settings are shown below.






Again minimal performance gains for the effort. I am beginning to wonder if the NVIDIA drivers are coming into play here as I cannot believe we are seeing this lack of performance.


Bioshock 2 (DX10)


Version and / or Patch Used: V1.00
Timedemo or Level Used: From the opening to the meeting with Dr. Tanenbaum.
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
Buy It Here


Bioshock 2 is the follow on to the original Bioshock. In it you take the persona of a Big Daddy, but one that is very different from what you ran into in the original game. You have many powerful weapons but are also able to make use of Eve and Plasmids to enhance your combat abilities. The DX10 portion of the game is limited to textures and lighting, but it is still enough to keep things interesting for your GPU.






Again no gain to be seen from using Fuzion's X-Mode. This is rather disappointing.


Metro 2033 (DX11)


Version and / or Patch Used: V1.00
Timedemo or Level Used: From washing up on the beach to the mine fields.
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:


Metro 2033 is a game that was created by some of the same developers that made the game STALKER. The Engine used has been described as "what XRAY should have been". It is very detailed and has some of the more realistic human rendering available. The shadows, fog simulations and other eye-candy make this game rough on even the most powerful of GPUs.






Hmmmm, well it is about time we see some type of performance increase. The big winner here is the N465GTX; all by itself it can barely manage 10 FPS at minimum. With the Fuzion configuration it doubles this to 18 and the average frame rate is just over 30FPS.


Gaming Conclusion


Fuzion's X-Mode looks like it could be a bust. With the five games we tested we saw little to no improvement in four of them and only in Metro 2033 did we see anything approaching a worthwhile gain for the cost of the setup used. I hope this is an issue with the current driver or somehow the four games we used that showed no improvement are the exceptions to the rule, but for some reason I have my doubts that is the case. Still, we will talk to both MSI and Lucid to see what the deal is and if there is an explanation for the performance we see with real gaming.


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