First up is the Comanche 4 benchmarking demo. Though several years old, this piece of software has consistently remained one of the most CPU-limited titles on the market, refusing to lose more than a few frames even when tested across a wide range of resolutions. Texture compression and hardware shaders were checked in the demo’s options.
These scores are roughly 10% slower than those from the Athlon 64 FX-53’s SimHQ reviewed earlier this year here but are still amazingly fast when compared to how the demo ran on hardware available at the time of its original release.
Lock On: Modern Air Combat was tested using the MiG-29 Intercept demo. The in-game settings can be found in the reference files on the “How SimHQ Tests” page, and this is the rare title where several settings simply had to be dialed back a notch or two to avoid unacceptable frame rates. The Intercept demo was ran until the six minute mark.
Checking the Fraps log shows LOMAC displaying a trend of below average frame rates while the MIG-29s are still on the ground, with the frames increasing to well above average once airborne. In fact, because the in-flight frames could at times jump so high above the recorded average, due mostly to low camera angles occurring at several points throughout the demo, the sustained frame rate for each resolution should be regarded as roughly 5-7 frames lower than the average.
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2004 has proven itself to be fairly stressful on even high-end hardware when its options are dialed to the max. SimHQ’s custom demo consists of a dusk flight over Hong Kong, giving a good combination of water, hilly terrain, and ground structures. The demo is ran with the Spot Plane view active and the camera set directly behind, and frame rate recording is halted upon landing. The only in-game option that isn’t set to its highest option is Ground Scenery Casts Shadows option, which was disabled.
So small a variation in the frame rate clearly indicates that the CPU remains the bottleneck for the game, at least with the settings used during testing.
The IL-2: Sturmovik Forgotten Battles – Aces Expansion Pack represents SimHQ’s non-modern flight simulation test. Using OpenGL rather than D3D, the landscape option was set to perfect. Testing consisted of using Fraps to record the frame rate during the first two minutes of the Bf109 Introduction training demo.
Forgotten Battles scales extremely well with resolution changes, yet retains playable frame rates even at the highest resolutions.