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 frames per second using FRAPS. This brings the whole game into play.
As most IGPs are not meant for high-end gaming, we have swapped out one of our First Person Shooters for a more mainstream game. We have also adjusted down the testing resolution from 1920x1200 to 1280x960. In order to keep full measure of the board, we return to 1920x1200 when we test the board with our GTX 285.
The SIMS 3 is the third complete edition of this popular game. In it you create a personality for use in a virtual world. The town we chose was Sunset Valley; we created a basic character and off we went. We performed as many actions as we were able to to give the board and GPU as much to think about as we could. The settings we used are shown below.
SIMS 3 performs well on the MSI H55M-ED55 at 1280x960. We found very playable frame rates for this popular mainstream game.
Far Cry 2
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
Buy It Here
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. The settings we used for testing are shown below.
No big surprise here as we find the IGP is unable to handle the much more demanding engine in Far Cry 2. However, once we drop in a capable GPU then the numbers are more than acceptable.
As we have noted before, the H5x boards are not meant as high-performance gaming rigs when using the IGP on the Clarkdale. They are able to handle many popular mainstream titles and can offer the casual and mainstream gamer great performance at lower resolutions.
We have also seen that the IGP on the Clarkdale does not hinder performance when a discrete GPU is placed in the system; this fact alone can give you an expensive gaming platform with little trouble. Of course, if you are going this route you have other options for boards and CPUs without an IGP. Overall though, it looks like the MSI H55M-ED55 and Core i5 661 combination is good for the casual and mainstream gamer.