Generational Tests on the i7-6700K: Gaming Benchmarks on High End GPUs

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.

For low end graphics, we test at 720p with Ultra settings, whereas for mid and high range graphics we bump this up to 1080p, taking the average frame rate as our marker with a scripted version of the built-in benchmark.

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

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

Total War: Attila

The Total War franchise moves on to Attila, another The Creative Assembly development, and is a stand-alone strategy title set in 395AD where the main story line lets the gamer take control of the leader of the Huns in order to conquer parts of the world. Graphically the game can render hundreds/thousands of units on screen at once, all with their individual actions and can put some of the big cards to task.

For low end graphics, we test at 720p with performance settings, recording the average frame rate. With mid and high range graphics, we test at 1080p with the quality setting. In both circumstances, unlimited video memory is enabled and the in-game scripted benchmark is used.

Total War: Attila on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Total War: Attila on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Grand Theft Auto V

The highly anticipated iteration of the Grand Theft Auto franchise finally hit the shelves on April 14th 2015, with both AMD and NVIDIA in tow to help optimize the title. GTA doesn’t provide graphical presets, but opens up the options to users and extends the boundaries by pushing even the hardest systems to the limit using Rockstar’s Advanced Game Engine. Whether the user is flying high in the mountains with long draw distances or dealing with assorted trash in the city, when cranked up to maximum it creates stunning visuals but hard work for both the CPU and the GPU.

For our test we have scripted a version of the in-game benchmark, relying only on the final part which combines a flight scene along with an in-city drive-by followed by a tanker explosion. For low end systems we test at 720p on the lowest settings, whereas mid and high end graphics play at 1080p with very high settings across the board. We record both the average frame rate and the percentage of frames under 60 FPS (16.6ms).

Grand Theft Auto V on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Grand Theft Auto V on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

GRID: Autosport

No graphics tests are complete without some input from Codemasters and the EGO engine, which means for this round of testing we point towards GRID: Autosport, the next iteration in the GRID and racing genre. As with our previous racing testing, each update to the engine aims to add in effects, reflections, detail and realism, with Codemasters making ‘authenticity’ a main focal point for this version.

GRID’s benchmark mode is very flexible, and as a result we created a test race using a shortened version of the Red Bull Ring with twelve cars doing two laps. The car is focus starts last and is quite fast, but usually finishes second or third. For low end graphics we test at 1080p medium settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get the full 1080p maximum. Both the average and minimum frame rates are recorded.

GRID: Autosport on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

GRID: Autosport on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

The final title in our testing is another battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Shadow of Mordor. Produced by Monolith using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity to a large extent, despite having to be cut down from the original plans. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.

For testing purposes, SoM gives a dynamic screen resolution setting, allowing us to render at high resolutions that are then scaled down to the monitor. As a result, we get several tests using the in-game benchmark. For low end graphics we examine at 720p with low settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get 1080p Ultra. The top graphics test is also redone at 3840x2160, also with Ultra settings, and we also test two cards at 4K where possible.

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Shadow of Mordor on 2x MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Generational Tests on the i7-6700K: Gaming Benchmarks on Mid-Range GPUs What You Can Buy: Office and Web Benchmarks


View All Comments

  • janolsen - Friday, August 14, 2015 - link

    Stupid question:
    Can Skylake IGP easily play back 4K video. Thinking of a person just using a 4K screen for Youtube stuff, not gaming...
  • ES_Revenge - Saturday, August 15, 2015 - link

    Yeah it can. This one of the very few improvements over Broadwell/previous HD Graphics implementations. It has a "full" HEVC decode solution built in, unlike the "hybrid" solutions they had previously. If you look on the 4th page of the review it actually goes pretty in-depth about this (not sure how you missed that?). Reply
  • alacard - Friday, August 14, 2015 - link

    It's clear you put a ton of work into this Ian, many thanks. Reply
  • Flash13 - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    So, far Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0GHz is just vapor to the public. Reply
  • somatzu - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    "So where'd you get your degree?"

    "Anandtech comments section."
  • superjim - Friday, August 21, 2015 - link

    I'm still not convinced this is a worthwhile upgrade from Sandy Bridge. If I can get 4.8 from a 2700K and maybe 4.6 from a 6700k, factor in cost difference, is it really worth it? At the end of the day, cpu/mobo/ram would be near $700 for maybe a 15% speed bump overall. Reply
  • watzupken - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    From a desktop standpoint, there is very little incentive for one to upgrade. The new gen mainly targets power savings, so likely to benefit mobile users, i.e. Ultra Books and tablets.

    As far as Intel is trying to target those people still on Sandy and Ivy Bridge to upgrade, they fail to account for the cost of upgrade for a paltry improvement in performance. To upgrade from SB, one has to upgrade the ram, motherboard and CPU, and on top of that, need to separately purchase a heatsink since they want to cut cost.
  • CynicalCyanide - Saturday, August 22, 2015 - link

    Question to the Authors: You've noted two DDR4 equipped mobos in the "Test Setup" section, but you've also tested DDR3 equipped Skylake. Which motherboard did you use for that?

    Furthermore, in a previous article it was mentioned that Z170 wouldn't be able to handle 'regular' 1.5V DDR3, but here apparently it wasn't an issue reusing old 1.5V RAM after a voltage adjustment. Was there any special method required aside from booting as per normal into the BIOS and adjusting the voltage?
  • TiberiuC - Saturday, August 22, 2015 - link

    Everything comes down eventualy to "Intel vs AMD". What Intel did with Core2Duo was the right path to go, what AMD did was so wrong and that sometimes happen when you inovate. AMD stopped with the last FX series and went back to the drawing board and that is a wise decision. What will ZEN do? i am expecting Ivi Bridge performance maybe touching haswell here and there. If this wont happen, it is bad for them and very bad for us. Intel is starting to milk the customers acting like there is a monopoly. I did buy my 2600k for 300$ (after rebates), i have to say that the price of the 6700k is well, meh... Reply
  • watzupken - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    To be honest, I feel the recent AMD chips are not so bad. From my opinion it boils down to 2 things,
    1) They are not able to get software makers to optimize for their chips,
    2) Disadvantage in terms of fab, i.e. 28nm vs 20/14nm.
    Of course, they also don't have a pocket a deep as Intel to begin with. So any misstep can have a serious setback for them.

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