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.
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
Timedemo or Level Used: From Ship Entry until third Spirit Journey
Developer Homepage: http://www.505games.co.uk
Product Homepage: http://cryostasis-game.com
Buy It Here
Cryostasis : Sleep of Reason is an interesting game. It is heavy on PhysX, so to play it properly you will really want an NVIDIA GPU. However, that aside, it can be immersive. Imagine Myst with guns and monsters. One of the cool concepts is the spirit journeys. These allow you to enter the past of lost souls. You have to change their past to change your future. Each one makes for a nice diversion and requires you to think about what you are doing and how it will affect the outcome of the game. The settings we used are shown below.
The ASUS P7P55D-E Pro comes in behind the ASRock for Cryostasis, but not far enough that it would make the game unplayable.
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.
The ASUS P55 board managed to squeak out a win here, but it is by less than 2 FPS.
After playing with the HD GMA on the Core i5 661, it is nice to get back to some real gaming performance. With that said, we still see that for the most part gaming is GPU oriented. This may change as both NVIDIA and ATi compete to push more and more gaming functions onto the GPU (for either OpenGL or CUDA).
We are also seeing a side effort to utilize the full number of cores in CPUs. As it stands right now there are very few games that can deal with more than two cores on a CPU. We can only hope that we see something soon to shake up the industry and bring a real evolution in gaming. Until that happens, we will see that the choice of CPU and motherboard will have little effect on your gaming performance, especially at high resolutions.