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.
*** A word on gaming as a motherboard test; ***
Despite the fact that most games are very GPU limited, we are still noticing HDD and even audio creating issues in gaming performance. Because of this you may see differences in the number of frames rendered per second between different boards. Usually the difference is very small but occasionally, because of bad tracing, poor memory or HDD performance this difference is significant. The issues are often more prevalent in older versions of DirectX but can still pop up in DX10 and 11.
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.
Hmmm, the performance numbers we see here seem to fly in the face of my usual comment that CPU speed does not affect gaming much. But with a 12 FPS difference at minimum, I have to wonder about that when we use a much faster GPU like the HD 5870 V2.
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.
With Far Cry 2 we are back to business. As usual there is very little difference between the overclocked and stock speeds here. In fact, the overclocked test run is slightly behind the stock speeds.
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.
Bad Company 2 performance is up there, but again we find that the overclocked performance is a little behind the stock run. Not enough to be a concern, but interesting to see.
The ASUS P6X58D-E seems to be aimed at the gamer right out of the box. With three x16 PCIe slots for Tri SLI or Crossfire (at x16/x8/x8), you have flexibility for a very powerful gaming setup. As we mentioned in the layout section and the system comments, we found that there was a nice amount of room for air flow. The audio quality for gaming was also more than acceptable. The P6X58D-E really does have the makings of an excellent gaming option.