Asus P5WD2 Premium i955X
Doom 3 and Unreal Tournament 2004 Performance
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom multi-player Doom 3 timedemo. We turned the resolution down to 640 x 480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Doom 3 typically taxes today's high-end Graphics Processors, when it's configured at these minimal IQ settings, it's much more CPU and Memory-bound than anything else.
Our Doom 3 results were probably the hardest to comment on, since they went against the established norms. Usually, we have seen where the two nForce 4 boards have taken the lead together, or perhaps the two i955X boards, but now we've got a split where the top board and bottom board were both using the same chipset. Asus' own P5ND2 came out on top, barely beating out the P5WD2 and Intel i955X reference board. The top three boards are separated by less than 2 1/2 frames per second. From there, we've got a bit of a drop-off to the i925XE and reference nForce 4 board, which are a full five frames back.
Next we ran through some low-resolution benchmarking with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization parameters that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. Like most of the other in-game tests (except for our SLI testing) in this article you'll see later, we used a "Low-Quality" setting with UT2004 that isolated CPU and memory performance.
Things returned to status quo when we ran our Unreal Tournament 2004 numbers. The two nForce 4 boards were at the front of the pack, i955X boards in the middle, and the reference i925XE board bringing up the rear. At these blistering rates, however, it would be hard to make any noticeable difference in actual gameplay.