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 could to give the board and GPU as much to think about as possible. The settings we used are shown below.
Well, I mean what did you expect from an IGP? - SIMS 3 was playable at this resolution, but it was not something you would want to do for an extended time.
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.
Far Cry 2 was even more of a punishment for the HD 4290 on the 890GPA-UD3H.
There is not too much to say here. Most IGPs can game to a certain extent, but they are in no way meant for high level gaming. You should be able to run some of the classics, though; games like Half Life, Half Life 2 and even Portal are usually very playable. Of course, when you drop in a better GPU, things do take off. Unfortunately, we also saw other performance drop somewhat, so that is a mixed bag at best.
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