To test the performance of a discrete GPU on the motherboards we are using 3DMark 11 set to Performance mode for a single 6870 GPU.
For real world performance we have chosen to run Fallout New Vegas at 1152×648 (16:9) with low detail and HDR on.
As there is a PCIe slot available on the MSI E350IA-E45 we felt it interesting to see how the system performed with a reasonably high end card installed, even if it was running at x4 speed. The result for 3DMark is shown above and essentially tells us that the low end Fusion CPUs limit the potential of a 6870, no surprise there. Fallout New Vegas performed reasonably well though and with a few more detail tweaks would be perfectly playable. In truth, it was enjoyable at these settings.
Here is how the game looked at our tested settings.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BK vs. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 vs Asus Maximus VII Hero
It is probably fair to say that Intel don't stealth launch their products... sure they have NDAs but by the time those expire we know pretty much everything about a new product. Part of this is of their own...