With the gtx280, gtx280+, 4870×2 and other new hardware-craziness happening out there, my aging PC is starting to look like ‘Ol Yeller. At some point I need to forklift it. I don’t know if the Nehalem release this fall will be my trigger flinch point. Nehalem is Intel’s new arch. They called it i7 for some reason, is this the Septimum? I dunno, but 16 threads on 8 cores is crazy (maybe madness — as in useless — for gaming).
3 years ago, I spent $3k like I always do and got a 7800gtx and an AMD fx-57 with ddr400. I put a 8800gts 640mb (older process) about a year ago. It’s incapable of playing Mass Effect, Crysis, any CPU-bound RTS game and DX10 (because I don’t have Vista). It’s fine really. I play WoW most of the time and everything else is consoles (cept Portal and steam-stuff). Valve and Blizzard try to appeal to mass-market and don’t do “tech demos”. That’s fine. However since I got a 24″ LCD, things are running slower at 1080p. I’m getting spoiled on AA settings and image quality (especially in WoW). A new rig could be under $3k and last another 3 years.
I tried posting some questions around the intertubes but no one cares about WoW benchmarks. It’s such a simple game that people don’t even pay attention to it. This was my post in the WoW forums (no response).
If you have a massive new machine that was built for games outside of WoW (but you play WoW anyway), help me understand what life is like.
- What AA setting do you use? I encourage people to talk about 16-24x FSAA at 1080p or higher. :)
- Can you force AFR with SLI or Crossfire cards? Benefit?
- What can you run in the background if you have dual or quad core?
- What transparency modes can you run in? ATI calls this Adaptive AA, Nvidia transparency AA. What’s the nice balance for you?
- In Shatt (which is CPU bound), what FPS do you maintain and what CPU do you have?
- Do you run any hacks to enable larger distance drawing etc?
Since there are few recent WoW benchmarks, can you give me an idea of what FPS you get in CoD4 or Crysis etc (which have no limit on benchmark results)?
So now I’m taking it upon myself to do some testing.
Orgrimmar to Azshara internal /timetest benchmark on WoW 2.4.3. V-sync disabled for timetest. Both
AMD FX-57 PC:
AMD fx-57 2.8ghz
2gb of DDR400 timings at 2-2-2-5
AF 4x (nvidia control panel override)
AA 4x (nvidia control panel override)
AA Transparency off
177.83 driver version
1920×1200 (all settings max in WoW client)
Octo-core 2.8ghz 45nm Xeon 2008 model
10gb ddr2 fb-dimms
8800gt video card
1680×1050 (all settings max in WoW client)
Maximized Windowed Mode
Full screen glow disabled (osx suffers greatly)
|Old PC running XP
|Mac Pro running OSX
|Mac Pro running XP
What is wrong with OSX drivers? My slower PC looks better (more image quality, more resolution, more effects) and is 3 years old. XP on the Mac Pro is a completely different result! It’s not the hardware. The Mac Pro is a killer workstation for sound and video but that doesn’t mean that a fast nvidia driver is out of the question. There’s one little bit of software that needs to be optimized to open up the Mac Pro for a whole new market and use. I’m not trying to oversimplify the work involved but I’m trying to make a point.
Apple has no pull at Nvidia or ATI. They can no more get faster software than Microsoft can get simpler software. It’s just not in the cards until OSX market share is 50/50 with Windows.
Update: Friend of mine ran this on his G5 with a X1900. 52.812 avg.
I ran this again with a new rig. Forced transparecy AA, Forced 16AF. All other driver settings forced to high-quality. E8600@4ghz,ddr3,4870×2. I ran it once with forced quality (set to insane levels — which looks great) and one with normal settings compared to old PC and Mac.
|New PC (insane quality)
|New PC (default quality)
The quality is so nice and LCDs can’t show more than 60. I think I’ll leave it on.