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MSI 870A Fuzion A and N-Mode Testing w/ R5870 Lightning & N465GTX Twin Frozr - Real-World Tests

The MSI 870A Fuzion is the first motherboard with an AM3 socket that supports dual GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. Having already looked at a mixed bag with X Mode testing, today we focus on its A and N-Mode performance.

| Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Sep 14, 2010 6:13 am
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: http://www.infinityward.com
Product Homepage: http://modernwarfare2.infinityward.com

 

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.

 

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This is a tough one to call. You see, on one hand we like to measure the minimum frame rate to see if the GPUs in question are able to at least maintain 30-32FPS for game play. So if we look at minimums we see that X-mode with the R5870 as the lead card is out ahead of everyone else by 8 FPS, but we are looking at 80-90 FPS; I doubt that 8 would be noticed.

 

If we look at average frame rate then the A-Mode with the dual ASUS EAH5870 V2s is the winner by almost 27 FPS. Now that could possibly be noticed as a much more fluid game. The N mode is not high on the list at all; it comes in behind all of the single cards for minimum and average frame rate. But the difference is not terribly large.

 


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: http://www.ubi.com
Product Homepage: http://www. http://farcry.us.ubi.com

 

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.

 

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N-mode here had some issues. There were a few spots where the game seemed to pause and then restart. A-mode seemed much more fluid with Far Cry 2, but is was still a little (2FPS) slower than the single EAH5870 V2 for average frame rate and only 1 FPS behind for our minimum testing.

 


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: http://www.ea.com/
Product Homepage: http://badcompany2.ea.com/

 

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.

 

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I did not expect this. The scores are so close it almost makes no sense to try and call a "winner". I would have expected a much better showing from any of the multi-GPU modes. Sadly we did not.

 


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: http://www.2kgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.2kgames.com/#/games/bioshock-2
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.

 

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With a lead of 1 FPS over the X-mode (with the R5870 as primary) and the single R5870 Lightning, it hardly seems worth the effort here. At least this is the case if you are looking to play Bioshock 2.

 


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: http://www.metro2033game.com/us/age_gate
Product Homepage: http://www.metro2033game.com

 

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.

 

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Notice that zero for the minimum FPS during our N-mode run? That was because the game would hard lock for several seconds at a time when we tried to play it. It was frustrating and despite trying everything from changing which GPU handled PhysX to turning off PhysX on the GPU entirely, we could not get past that. Instead, the A-mode came out on top by 4 FPS minimum and 9 average (we did not count the 32 of N-mode as the game was not playable).

 


Gaming Conclusion

 

Our gaming experience did not turn out like we thought it would. There are just too many things that need to be resolved right now for Fuzion to run real games properly. Unless I am missing something, my guess is that the lack of performance boost we saw has a lot to do with the drivers and the systems inability to handle the data throughput.

 

We think this is something that can be corrected with drivers, but there has to be some additional changes made. With the exception of the issues noted (games locking up and the jitter in X-mode for Metro 2033), the rendering was excellent. The only thing lacking was the actual performance levels.

 

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