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Benchmark Results: World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm (DX11)

The 990FX Chipset Arrives: AMD And SLI Rise Again

Our relationship with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft goes back a ways. Back in December of last year, I took a first look at the Cataclysm expansion pack with experimental support for DirectX 11 in World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm—Tom’s Performance Guide. Recently, that support was integrated into patch 4.1, under the game options menu. It's now official, and if you have a DX11-enabled card, I recommend you use it. If you need to ask why, check out the performance guide. Frame rate boosts can be quite surprising.

In our initial testing, we discovered that AMD’s processors were definitely limiting performance in this game. The average frame rate of the Phenom II X6 at 3.7 GHz was 60 frames per second.

Today we see that, with proper support for SLI in place, AMD’s platforms hit 75 frames per second or so. But it doesn’t matter if you run at 1680x1050 or 2560x1600, or if you use 1x multisampling or 8x. Simply, the frame rate doesn’t change. AMD’s processors are still the “problem,” for as much as 75 FPS can be considered problematic.

We’re really only concerned because Intel’s CPUs do so much better, exceeding 100 FPS at 1680x1050 and 1920x1080, only dipping under at 2560x1600 with 8x MSAA turned on.

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