ASUS P6T DeLuxe review - X58 motherboard

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14 - Game Performance: F.E.A.R. | Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2

We also will include some gaming benchmarks. Now I understand that some of you expect miracles in gaming when you purchase a new processor. It's just not the case, you are limited to as fast as your GPU (graphics card) can go. It's as simple as that. All the quad-core love is fantastic, but the reality is it makes very little difference, unless you are on a very high-end SLI or Crossfire platform. Our tests will be conducted on the fastest single GPU on the globe, the GeForce GTX 280.

Fact is, even a Core 2 Dual E8500 processor is fast enough for a GeForce GTX 280 in most situations, unless we focus on the lowest resolutions where the GPU is not limited and the CPU can provide more data. Next to that, only a few engines really support multi-threaded multi-core gaming.  What I am trying to say here... this is not the fault of the CPU, the Core i7 | x58 combo ROCKS, it's the software applications that are still hindering all that multi-core lovin'. Check out the Multi-GPU Core i7 article on that please.

Gaming: F.E.A.R.

As many of you will be aware, F.E.A.R (or First Encounter Assault & Recon in short) involves a rather mysterious looking girl in a red dress, a man with an unappetizing taste for human flesh and some rather flashy action set pieces aka The Matrix. All of this is brought together by one of the best game engines around.

F.E.A.R. makes its cinematic pretensions clear from the start. As soon as the credits roll, and the music starts, you are treated to the full works. The camera pans across scores of troops locked 'n' loaded and ready to hunt you down, all seemingly linked to 'Paxton Fettel', a strange kind of guy with extraordinary psychic powers capable of controlling battalions of soldiers and a habit of feeding off any poor unfortunate innocents - presumably to aid his powers of concentration. It doesnt end there, after a short briefing at F.E.A.R. HQ you are sent off to hunt down Fettel equipped with reflexes that are 'off the chart'. These reflexes are put to excellent use, with a slow motion effect like that of Max Payne, or the before mentioned Matrix. But here, it is oooohhhh so much more satisfying thanks to the outstanding environmental effects. Sparks fly everywhere, as chunks of masonry are blasted from the walls and blood splatters from your latest victim. The physics are just great, with boxes sent flying, shelves tipped over, and objects hurtling towards your head. And the explosions, well, the explosions just have to be seen, and what's so great about this is you can witness it in all its glory in slow motion.

Let me confirm to you that based on this, F.E.A.R. will have you shaking on the edge of your seat, if not falling off it. The tension is brought to just the right level with key moments that will make your heart leap. Play the demo and you will see what I mean. The key to this, is the girl. Without revealing anything significant, lets just say that she could take on the whole of Mars for creepiness.

Image Quality setting:

  • 4x Anti Aliasing
  • 16x Anisotropic Filtering
  • Soft Shadows Disabled

Here's a good example of a very GPU bound situation. When you look at scaling at 10x7 the difference is apparent. And sure the difference between 250 FPS and 224 is pretty okay... but after that, the GPU is the bottleneck.

Fear is very GPU dependant. As you can see, virtually not a difference on any of the platforms. But what happens if we take an older title with CPU limitation?

 

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2

Don't mistake the PC version for being a port of the Xbox 360 game. The PC version has larger and different levels than those featured on the Xbox 360, as well as a different graphics engine and style of gameplay.

The game itself looks great and the intricate physics modelling seen in the singleplayer version is still active in the multiplayer version. There are all sorts of other interactions you'll encounter in multiplayer.
For instance, aluminium cans litter the street and stepping on them not only kicks them around, but also creates a loud sound that may betray your presence to the enemy.

And here are the results done with the GRAW2, which in the lower resolutions is very CPU limited. A good example of what the processor / mainboard / memory can achieve here. Image Quality settings:

  • Edge Smoothing Anti Aliasing
  • 16x Anisotropic Filtering
  • Dynamic shadows HIGH

Observe 10x7 closely, here we have a title that is way more CPU dependant while the GPU laughs at the title. Look at the dual core E8500, then the QX9770 and then both i7's. That is a huge difference.

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