MSI P4N Diamond nForce4-SLI Motherboard
Unreal Tournament 2004 and Doom3
To start our in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization settings that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. In the following two game tests, we used "Low-Quality" graphical settings and low screen resolutions which isolates CPU and Memory performance.
There's quite a close grouping in UT2004 testing, with the MSI P4N Diamond right near the top, and the Asus boards on either side. Less than a quarter of a frame per second separated these three boards. The AW8-MAX was a full frame behind, although this equals less than one percent of a difference.
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom multi-player Doom 3 timedemo. We cranked 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 GPUs, when it's configured at these minimal settings it too is more CPU and memory-bound than anything else.
Again we're looking at some frame rates that for all intents and purposes should be considered equal. The list from top to bottom doesn't remain the same, however, with the MSI P4N Diamond moving towards the front and the P5WD2 slipping to the rear. Still, we're talking fractions of a frame per second at already-blistering rates. In these real-world gaming tests, we're not seeing any of the dropoff that we expected after viewing the 3DMark05 results.