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 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.
The SIMS 3 sort of beats up on the IGP built into the 890GX chipset. But then again, these are not meant for heavy gaming. They are more for casual gaming at low resolution.
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, the MINIX did a little better here, but to be honest it is still like playing a slide show when you are stuck with the IGP.
The MINIX all on its own is not going to satisfy any sort of gaming fix (except for very entry level gaming). Thankfully you can drop in a beefy discrete option like the HD 5870 and things will certainly pick up from there. The audio on the board was also up to the games that we threw at it. There were no stutters, jitters or other audio anomalies.