|Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 24 January 2009|
Page 14 of 17
Crysis Benchmark Results
Crysis uses a new graphics engine: the CryENGINE2, which is the successor to Far Cry's CryENGINE. CryENGINE2 is among the first engines to use the Direct3D 10 (DirectX10) framework of Windows Vista, but can also run using DirectX9, both on Vista and Windows XP.
Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, has spoken on the subject of the engine's complexity, stating that Crysis has over a million lines of code, 1GB of texture data, and 85,000 shaders. To get the most out of modern multicore processor architectures, CPU intensive subsystems of CryENGINE 2 such as physics, networking and sound, have been re-written to support multi-threading.
Crysis offers an in-game benchmark tool, which is similar to World in Conflict. This short test does place some high amounts of stress on a graphics card, since there are so many landscape features rendered. For benchmarking purposes, Crysis can mean trouble as it places a high demand on both GPU and CPU resources. Benchmark Reviews uses the Crysis Benchmark Tool by Mad Boris to test frame rates in batches, which allows the results of many tests to be averaged.
Low-resolution testing allows the graphics processor to plateau its maximum output performance, which thereby shifts demand onto the other system components. At the lower resolutions Crysis will reflect the GPU's top-end speed in the composite score, indicating full-throttle performance with little load. This makes for a less GPU-dependant test environment, and is helpful in creating a baseline for measuring maximum output performance in the next few test results. At the 1280x1024 resolution used by some newer 17" and most 19" monitors, all of the video cards tested performed at very respectable levels.
At 1920x1200 resolution Crysis is rendered by the GTX 285 at 47-48 FPS by the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P,Intel DX58SO, and GA-EX58-EXTREME . Almost without difference, the GA-X48T-DQ6 and GA-EP45T-EXTREME come in just behind with 47 FPS. I realize that when I ran these same tests for the Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME there was a more pronounced difference in performance results, but with new installations of the O/S and a new version of graphics drivers, I am finding the results to be extremely close in relation. I will admit that the 5 FPS difference isn't very much incentive to ditch the X48 platform and replace it with X58, but the difference exists nevertheless.
Adding 4x anti-aliasing to the strain doesn't help show the differences in performance I would have expected, since 2 FPS between the X58 and X48/P45 is almost enough to be considered a margin of error. Perhaps the real error was using the GeForce GTX 285 in our tests. Although I think that the enthusiast who buys an X58 platform with likely pair it to a similarly top-end graphics solution, it makes sense. But from a benchmarking point of view, the GeForce GTX 285 has forced Crysis to become GPU dependant. If we had used a low-end video card, the CryENGINE 2 gaming engine would have demanded more from the CPU. In the end, I tried to make our tests as relevant to real-world systems as possible.
So up to this point, X58 has prevailed against X48 and P45. This isn't a real technical surprise, as the triple-channel system memory and much-improved memory path no longer have to travel out from the processor to the Northbridge and back, which make a noticeable difference in performance. But in games, there is only a small gain to be had if you're using a high-performance graphics solution.
In our next section, Benchmark Reviews will test the X58 platforms against last generation X48 and P45 motherboards in the fast-paced Far Cry 2 video game.