Generational Tests on the i7-6700K: Gaming Benchmarks on Mid-Range 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 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

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

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 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Total War: Attila on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

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 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Grand Theft Auto V on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

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 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

GRID: Autosport on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

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 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245)

Generational Tests on the i7-6700K: IGP and $70 GPU Benchmarks Generational Tests on the i7-6700K: Gaming Benchmarks on High End GPUs
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  • mikael.skytter - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    Looking forward to read up :) Gonna be an awsome review - as always!
    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Zponxie - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link


    In the section "Skylake's Launch Chipset: Z170":

    "In the previous Z97 chipset, there are a total of 18 Flex-IO ports that can flip between PCIe lanes, USB 3.0 ports or SATA 6 Gbps ports. For Z97, this moves up to 26 and can be used in a variety of configurations"

    Was that last Z97 meant to be Z170?

    Also, thank you for another quality review
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    "Was that last Z97 meant to be Z170?"

    Indeed it was. Thank you for pointing it out.
    Reply
  • ingwe - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    Man I have been waiting for this! Pumped about DDR4. Reply
  • freaqiedude - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    why? it basically has no performance impact whatsoever...
    and the powerbenefits are negligable, and it's more expensive...
    I never understand why people buy premium RAM anymore, it simply has no impact on performance except for very very specialized benchmarking applications.
    Reply
  • richardginn - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    This CPU is a total joke.... Why Intel would make us pay over 300 bucks for a CPU and not put in GT4e graphics is a total fail. Reply
  • A5 - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    Good integrated graphics are a waste here. Reply
  • richardginn - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    A full on waste. If you are going to spend 300 bucks plus on a CPU you are going to spend at least 200 bucks on a GPU, BUTTT when you can throw in GT3e graphics in a broadwell i7-5775c CPU you must no bring us the pile of crap that is GT2 graphics for the 6700k CPU. Reply
  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    not true, i'd gladly pay for the best CPU, but have littler interest in buying a GPU that takes extra space and energy/heat.

    Not everyone who wants CPU performance is a hardcore gamer.
    Reply
  • im.thatoneguy - Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - link

    I'm not a hardcore gamer but when I'm GPU rendering with CUDA my whole UI slows to a crawl and I can hardly move windows. A passable GPU built in would let me use my NVidia cards for CUDA while freeing my CPU integrated graphics for windowing. Reply

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