Alien: Isolation

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 seems to have recently had an update that affects low powered GPUs, pushing our new results to be very different to the results in our database. It only seems to affect the IGP and R7 240 results, so for now we'll focus on the other data.

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)

In each case the Core i3s perform at the top or near the top, with the higher frame rates being with the higher frequency parts. However, for our mid-range GPUs (R9 285, GTX 770), that doesn't seem to matter that much, and the $70 AMD Athlon X4 845, along with the A10 parts, are within shouting distance. However, the effect gets worse with higher power GPUs, with the graphs taking an Intel/AMD split almost. The 8-thread AMD FX part sits as close as it can, but the Skylake parts pull a 10+ FPS advantage, which equates to an 8% or better difference.


Performance Comparison: Legacy Gaming Comparison: Total War: Attila
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  • jabber - Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - link

    Yeah, unfortunately, a lot of IT guys assume that because they run quad cores at 100% all day long with 32GB of ram that Helen on the front desk or Mike in Sales needs the same. They don't. Similar to Ratman I sell a lot of recon Dell and HP ex corporate machines to my small business customers. 2010 spec machines with dual core 3GHz Pentiums with 4-8GB of ram. They can buy three of them for the cost of a 2016 model. They love them. If they need a real boost, a 120GB SSD gets slapped in. They pee their pants with excitement when that happens. Standard business computing was finally catered for many many years ago. It hasn't really changed.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - link

    Decrepit Core 2 Duos are indeed perfectly acceptable for poking around on the internet and handling basic office workloads. I'm fairly happy using a T2310-based laptop (C2D@1.46GHz) with 2GB of RAM and a recently purchased 500GB 5400 RPM drive for most of my day-to-day computing tasks. I can feel the system's performance catching up when I ask the Intel x3100 graphics card to chug through anything higher than 720p video on Youtube. Most of my gaming is streamed through Steam so the box on the user end isn't as important as the computer that actually runs the game with reduces my concern pretty significantly when it comes to keeping my laptop up-to-date. I'm pretty sure I can squeeze another year or two out of it before handing it over to the electronics recycling center.

    Like jabber says, office work has long since been addressed by technological advancements and _most_ home computing needs aside from throwing around modern games have too.
  • Icehawk - Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - link

    We have some C2Ds at work, and yeah for a regular office job they are fine IF they have 8gb of RAM, unfortunately these machines are so old keeping them running or upgrading is a hassle. And at least here, unless you are in IT or a programmer good luck getting a SSD. A newer i3 with 8gb and SSD is definitely enough for any casual user at work or home for sure.
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    It depends a lot on the workload. 2GB is sufficient for almost everything I do on a home computer except for the occasional game. In an office setting 4-8GB would be better just because workforce users tend to leave a larger number of programs open at once. I do agree that in a workplace, computers should still be replaced every 3-5 years due to upgrade and maintenance issues that crop up as they age past that point even if the system performance is still perfectly adequate.
  • lilmoe - Monday, August 8, 2016 - link

    Do tell how to spread a select query (with a join or two) on multiple equally tasked threads when you only need to query a huge table (with the others being relatively tiny).
    i3s are my go-to recommendation for clients needing POS stations and others that only need a client/terminal for an ERP database.
  • lilmoe - Monday, August 8, 2016 - link

    What's being multithreaded is the UI, almost exclusively. And that's for responsiveness rather than speed, in which 2 cores more than suffice.
  • elbert - Monday, August 8, 2016 - link

    Thats not how it works. This is like arguing against dual cores because there was no threaded software. Chicken and the egg is a fun game but the process has to come first.
  • bug77 - Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - link

    There's no chicken and egg here. We've had 8 thread capable CPUs for years. But we simply don't need them at home or for typical desktop usage.
    They're great for 3D rendering, video editing or programming, but they're not for everyone.
  • elbert - Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - link

    Dual cores aren't for everyone so lets just agree they should moved to a tablet or watch. Intel needs to move on 6 core Kaby Lake for the main steam at the very least.
  • bug77 - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    No, we don't agree on that. Dual core is plenty for typical web browsing and occasionally writing a paper for school. I'm on an i5 for years and I rarely see all 4 cores put to use at the same time.
    You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but I don't agree with it.

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