Here we have our real gaming tests. Each of the games we chose use 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.
Here we have some more numbers that are a tad off. It looks like the X58A-UD9 can take the stress of the four GTX 480s, but not all tests can. Here we find the four-way setup dropping behind in minimum frame rate, but still leading in average FPS. Then again, it looks like most of the setups with more than two GPUs begin to have slower minimum frame rates.
Far Cry 2 (DX10)
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.
As with the three-way GTX 470 setup, we find that Far Cry2 does not like more than two GPUs. Of course, you are still around 70 FPS, but you would expect more from this type of rig.
Battlefield Bad Company 2 (DX11)
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, just like the GTX 470 testing, Bad Company 2 begins to break down with more than two GPUs. We even saw the game begin to stutter and jerk during game play.
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 blockbuster hit FPS, 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.
Not much to say here; Bioshock 2 does not play well with multiple GPUs.
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.
Well, even though most of our games did not know what to do with more than two (or three) GPUs, Metro 2033 does. As with our three-way SLI testing, we saw a nice scaling with each new GPU that was added, allowing for much smoother game play and cleaner effects. We were very impressed with the way Metro 2033 played with four GPUs in the system.
There is not much to say here. Three-Way and Four-Way SLI are still niche items. As you can see, even with our limited testing suite there are very few games that will actually gain something from this type of setup. We are sure there will be ones that will show up (look at Metro 2033), but for the most part you are not going to get an exceptionally good return on your investment in terms of gaming.
As we have said before, the GIGABYTE X58A-UD9 is a benchmarking monster. At $649.99 from NewEgg.com it is an expensive one as well. Of course, like many items, you have to take the market focus into consideration.
The X58A-UD9 is not for the average gamer. It is not even for most enthusiasts. It is for the person that just HAS to have the fastest system out. To that end, it does an excellent job. You can get some simply stunning performance with the right CPU, cooling, GPUs and of course power supply (or supplies). In the end, as we have said three times now, the X58A-UD9 is one of the most audacious boards we have tested. If you are looking to break some world records, then this is your motherboard!