Alien: Isolation at 3 GHz

If first person survival mixed with horror is your sort of thing, then Alien: Isolation, based off of the Alien franchise, should be an interesting title. Developed by The Creative Assembly and released in October 2014, Alien: Isolation has won numerous awards from Game Of The Year to several top 10s/25s and Best Horror titles, ratcheting up over a million sales by February 2015. Alien: Isolation uses a custom built engine which includes dynamic sound effects and should be fully multi-core enabled. We take the average frame rate as our marker with a scripted version of the built-in benchmark.

For this test we used the following settings with our graphics cards:

Alien Isolation Settings
  Resolution Quality
Low GPU Integrated Graphics 1280x720 Ultra
ASUS R7 240 1GB DDR3
Medium GPU MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB 1920x1080 Ultra
MSI R9 285 Gaming 2G
High GPU ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB 1920x1080 Ultra
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G

Alien Isolation on MSI R9 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Alien Isolation on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

Alien Isolation on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Alien Isolation on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Unfortunately, Alien Isolation pushed a significant update for low-end AMD cards (like the R7 240) near the end of our benchmark suite, meaning that the 18 months of data with the card are now in the trash. Nevertheless, the rest of the results from our other cards show that Carrizo is comprehensively out performed by Kaveri in every test. It's worth remembering that the Carrizo part only has PCIe 3.0 x8 available, but the difference is mostly likely to do with data transfer through the L2 caches.

Performance at 3 GHz: Legacy Gaming at 3 GHz: Total War Attila
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  • mrdude - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Fantastic work, Ian. Now if AMD put half as much work into their uArchs as you did into reviewing them, we might finally get somewhere =P
  • Geranium - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Exynos 7420 and Apple A9 is built on Samsang's 14nm LPE. Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820 is built on 14nm LPP.
  • Vlad_Da_Great - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    AMD CPU R&D has been outsourced pretty much close to an 1 year ago. Even Jim Keller left before anything(silicon) was remotely close to be released. AMD has submitted on the CPU front, and now with the another failure from the RX 480 power fiasco it seems in the GPU segment too. ZEN is just a myth for the small minded amoebas. The closest they can come to is Haswell, even in some benchmarks they will be far behind.
    Intel has reported times in many improvement over the 4/5y spam CPU's. AMD can barely get 30% and in some synthetic benchmarks they are below something was produced/developed half a decade ago.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    You have sources for your ludicrous claims?
  • wumpus - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    Zen tapped out. Thus the drawdown. But if you think Zen will compare as well to Intel silicon as the 480 does to the 1060, remember that Intel is still hand-laying out the transistors and AMD is using autorouters.

    Hopefully AMD will at least be able to get back to producing "the cheap stuff', but that is their best hope. They've pretty much surrendered.
  • Calculatron - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Great article, overall! I am glad to see someone finally review the product.

    I was hoping, however, that you would come across this strange "throttling" issue that this CPU seems to have while playing certain games (not all games, just certain ones). Some people have started threads on Tom's Hardware, and I started one on AMD's own forums:
  • DominionSeraph - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link

    Yeesh, the barest overclock physically degrades the processor? This likely means it's degrading at stock as they've pushed a 35W part to 65W and beyond.
  • Sherlock - Thursday, July 14, 2016 - link


    Who's your web-designer Anandtech - seriously - I see a big banner at the top & two big ads on the left & right of the page. I am so pissed by the design - I actually calculated the pixel count - only 24% of the screen is dedicated to content - excluding the large Anandtech logo & the menu bars - 10% for the screen is content - please don't kill the site with such crap


    Also - "For clarity, hand was from AMD but not Lisa Su's" :)
  • DominionSeraph - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    A narrow column is more readable. Who cares what's on the sides?
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, July 15, 2016 - link

    Ad blockers are your friend.

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