|Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 24 January 2009|
Page 15 of 17
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Ubisoft has developed Far Cry 2 as a sequel to the original, but with a very different approach to game play and story line. Far Cry 2 features a vast world built on Ubisoft's new game engine called Dunia, meaning "world", "earth" or "living" in Farci. The setting in Far Cry 2 takes place on a fictional Central African landscape, set to a modern day timeline.
The Dunia engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2, by Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers realistic semi-destructible environments, special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storms, real-time night-and-day sun light and moon light cycles, dynamic music system, and non-scripted enemy A.I actions.
The Dunia game engine takes advantage of multi-core processors as well as multiple processors and supports DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10. Only 2 or 3 percent of the original CryEngine code is re-used, according to Michiel Verheijdt, Senior Product Manager for Ubisoft Netherlands. Additionally, the engine is less hardware-demanding than CryEngine 2, the engine used in Crysis.
However, it should be noted that Crysis delivers greater character and object texture detail, as well as more destructible elements within the environment. For example; trees breaking into many smaller pieces and buildings breaking down to their component panels. Far Cry 2 also supports the amBX technology from Philips. With the proper hardware, this adds effects like vibrations, ambient colored lights, and fans that generate wind effects.
There is a benchmark tool in the PC version of Far Cry 2, which offers an excellent array of settings for performance testing. Benchmark Reviews used the maximum settings allowed for our tests, with the resolution set to 1920x1200. The performance settings were all set to 'Very High', DirectX 9 Render Quality was set to 'Ultra High' overall quality, 8x anti-aliasing was applied, and HDR and Bloom were enabled.
Although the Dunia engine in Far Cry 2 is slightly less demanding than CryEngine 2 engine in Crysis, the strain appears to be extremely close. In Crysis we didn't dare to test AA above 4x, whereas we used 8x AA and 'Ultra High' settings in Far Cry 2. The end effect was a separation between what is capable of maximum settings, and what is not. Using the short 'Ranch Small' time demo (which yields the lowest FPS of the three tests available), the GeForce GTX 285 was left to perform its best on each motherboard.
Once again, the X58 motherboards prevail over the X48 and P45 platforms, with the GA-EX58-UD4P leading the pack. I don't have an explanation why the EX58-UD4P consistently leads (by a mere 1%) the EX58-EXTREME, when they are nearly identical motherboards. My opinion is that the newer EX58-UD4P has reaped the benefit of a refined construction process, along with housing fewer integrated components. Regardless, the X58-Express motherboards perform at 27 FPS while the X48 and P45 platforms yield 24 FPS on average.
Memory intensive applications have proven to prefer the Core i7 platform, but gaming stand to gain very little over a similarly equipped Intel Q9400 Core 2 Quad system. In the next section, I give my final thoughts on Intel's X58 platform and the new Core i7 processor series.