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 HD 5870.
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 in order to give the board and GPU as much to think about as we could. The settings we used are shown below.
SIMS 3 was not terrible to play. There were more than a few spots that were patchy and the visual quality was not that great. I would not recommend gaming on this board unless you are happy with resolutions at 1024x768 and no effects.
Far Cry 2
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.
Well, honestly what did you expect? The scores here are not good, then again these are entry level (or value) based boards. It is no surprise to us that we do not see good gaming at even mid-range resolutions.
My conclusion on gaming is that motherboards with IGPs are not meant for gaming. They are meant for simple graphical presentations. However, as with most boards with an IGP, once you drop in a real GPU you can game and get good results. With the Foxconn A88GM Deluxe this could be a great way to go. The board is inexpensive enough to let you get a good quality GPU and have a decent gaming platform for very little money.