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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  • tipoo - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    Looks like even a Skylake i3 may be able to retire the venerable 2400/2500K, higher frame rates and better frame times at that. However a native quad does prevent larger dips. Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    I have a feeling much that is due to the higher base clock on the SkyLake i3 vs. the i5 2500K. Skylake's IPC improvements also help boost performance here too.

    The real challenge is if the i3 6320 can best the i5 2500k as the same 3.9 Ghz base clock speed. Sandy Bridge was a good overclocker so hitting those figures shouldn't be difficult at all.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    That's true, overclocked the difference would diminish. But you also get modernities like high clocked DDR4 in the switchover.

    At any rate, funny that a dual core i3 can now fluidly run just about everything, it's two cores are probably faster than the 8 in the current consoles.
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    Benchrmarks don't tell you about the hiccups when playing with a dual core. Specially with things like Crysis 3 or even worse ROt Tomb Raider where you get like half the fps just by using a dual core bs a cheapo Athlon 860K. Reply
  • gamerk2 - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    That's why Frame Times are also measured, which catches those hitches. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - link

    I had a lot of issues with my Sandy Bridge i3-2125 in Battlefield 3 circa 2011 with lag and poor minimum frame rates.

    After long discussions on the forums, it was determined disabling hyper threading actually improved frame rate consistency. So at least in the Sandy Bridge IPC, and probably dating back to Nehalem or even Prescott, Jackson Technology or whatever you want to call it, has a habit of stalling the pipeline if there are too many cache misses to complete the instruction. Obviously more cache resolves this, so the issue isn't as prominent on the i7's, and it would certainly explain why the 4MB i3's are more consistent performers than the 3MB variety.

    Of course the only way to prove if hyper threading is causing performance inconsistency is to disable it. It'd be a damn unique investigation for Anandtech to do a IPC improvement impact on it's affect on hyper-threading performance over the years, perhaps even dating back to the P4.
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    HOW ON EARTH DID I MISS THIS?!?!

    Thank you for introducing me to Intel's tech known as "Jackson!" This is now *SO* on my "To Buy" list!

    Thank you Samus! :-D
    Reply
  • bug77 - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    Neah, I went i5-2500k -> i5-6600k and there's no noticeable difference. The best part of the upgrade was those new I/O ports on the new motherboard, but it's a sad day when you upgrade after 4 years and the most you have to show is you new M2 or USB 3.1 ports (and USB 3.1 is only added through a 3rd party chip).
    Sure, if I bench it, the new i5 is faster, but since the old i5 wasn't exactly slow, I can't say that I see a significant improvement.

    Now, if you mean that instead of getting an i5-2500k one can now look at a Skylake i3, I'm not going to argue with you there. Though (money permitting) the boost speed might be nice to have anyway.
    Reply
  • Cellar Door - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    This is a poorly educated comment:

    a) Your perceived speed might be limited by your storage
    b) You don't utilize your cpu's multitasking abilities fully(all cores)
    Reply
  • Duckeenie - Monday, August 08, 2016 - link

    Why did you continue to post your comment if you believed you were making poorly educated points? Reply

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