The 990FX Chipset Arrives: AMD And SLI Rise Again

Benchmark Results: World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm (DX11)

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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  • Jay_83
    Disappointing. Kinda like preloading a Steam game before launch- you get stuff you that's not much good for anything until the real show hits the road.
    Here's hoping (against hope?) Bulldozer exceeds expectations. A bit of a price and performance war would do Intel some good.
  • uksnapper
    I was hoping for 6 memory slots so I guess I will have to wait for more M/Bs to come on stream
  • codefuapprentice
    I'll be interested to see what the bulldozer is capable of when its completed.
    I'm not rushing out to buy a new machine any time soon as i'm still enjoying using my PII 955BE machine (790GX based)
  • Anonymous
    Asus are releasing BIOS updates to support AM3+ chips in some of their AM3 motherboards (like my M4A89GTD PRO) - would be interested in a comparison of this with a 'proper' AM3+ motherboard (with SB950, I think), once the Zambezi chips come out.