Can today's PC hardware stand-up to the increasingly complex and intense computer games of tomorrow? Although game designers continue to push graphical detail and performance, hardware manufacturers are testing their wares against the existing standards of yesterday.
Until now... Leading game and technology developer Epic Games today unveiled the Unreal
Performance Test 2002, the first and only game benchmark indicative of the future of gaming.
Aiming to stress-test the functionality and power of today's graphics performance, the benchmark is a barometer of how current hardware technology measures up against next generation gaming applications. The Unreal Performance Test is the first game benchmark to utilize a widely used game engine, Epic's award-winning Unreal Engine. Licensed by many of the recognized leaders in PC gaming such as Electronic Arts (Undying,
Adventure Pinball), Infogrames (Epic's own Unreal Tournament), and Eidos (Deus Ex, Deus Ex 2, Thief 3), the Unreal Engine is viewed as the game industry's most advanced and widely used complete 3D game engine.
"It is well recognized throughout the industry that games drive hardware innovation," said Mark Rein, vice president at Epic Games. "At Epic, we are striving to influence and educate the card manufacturers and consumers to improve the overall quality of the gaming experience. We created the Unreal Performance Test to be the first true indicator of how gaming hardware will respond to the ever-increasing demands of tomorrow's games.
The performance test was recently put to task on leading hardware Web site Anandtech.com. The site compared 15 of today's leading cards at five different resolution settings.
"There are other game engines that have been used for benchmarking, but none are as robust, or as relevant as the Unreal Performance Test 2002," said Anand Lal Shimpi, editor-in-chief of AnandTech.com. "With the 6-month video-card product cycles, you have to play a guessing game as to whether you'll be buying adequate power for the future. Card manufacturers have long stated that their hardware could stand up to the demands of
tomorrow's games. Now we can finally put their claims to the test."
The Unreal Performance Test is designed to be a torture test for today and tomorrow's personal computers that contain the best available CPUs and GPUs and stresses both equally. The content being used in the current version of the test shows as much as 1,000 times the detail levels seen in Epic's 1999 hit game title Unreal Tournament.
With accelerated 3D rendering that is constantly being tweaked and refreshed the benchmark represents the latest internal build of the Unreal Engine. It is designed to test polygon counts, CPU performance, AI and animation at the highest possible settings. As Epic's next-generation Unreal game engine is constantly evolving, the Unreal Performance Test 2002 will be continually updated and the test will remain an important tool for the industry.