Asus Blitz Formula and Extreme P35 Motherboards
Quake 4, F.E.A.R., and Crosslinx
For our last set of tests, we moved on to some in-game benchmarking with Quake 4 and F.E.A.R. When testing processors and motherboards with Q4 or F.E.A.R, we drop the resolution and reduce all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible. However, the in-game effects, which control the level of detail for the games' physics engines and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU.
The additional memory bandwidth afforded by its DDR3-1333 memory give the Asus Blitz Extreme a marked advantage in the game tests. Quake 4 only showed a minor difference, but in F.E.A.R. 12 frames per second (4.6%) separated the Blitz Extreme from the Blitz Formula.
For one final test, we swapped out our E6750 CPU for a Core 2 Extreme X6800 and installed a pair of Radeon HD 2900 XT cards running in CrossFire mode into the Blitz Formula to see what, if any, impact the Crosslinx PCI Express switch had on performance in F.E.A.R.
This time around, we upped the resolution to 1280x1024 and enabled 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering. We compared the Blitz Formula's performance to a 975X Express-chipset based board, which has a flexible PCI Express lane configuration and offers an x8 electrical connection to each PEG slot, and to the P35-based P5K Deluxe, which has a x16 / x4 PEG slot configuration. As you can see, there was virtually no difference in performance, at least in the one game we tested.