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Doom 3 (2004): PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors

BASIC INFORMATION ON THE GAME

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Genre : Action (Shooter) / 3D / 1st Person
Release Date : August 1, 2004
Developers : id Software and Splash Damage
Publisher : Activision 

d3 systems

Doom 3 is a sci-fi survival horror first-person shooter developed by id Software and published by Activision in 2004. Localized and published in Russia by 1C. The game takes place in the year 2145 at the United Aerospace Corporation (UAC) Research and Development Center located on the planet Mars, which is a remake of the original Doom game but with new graphics and game engine. The game was developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems and ported to Linux in 2004, and was also released on Mac OS X five months later.

 d3 bfg systems

Bethesda has decided to release a re-release of the cult shooter. The BFG Edition included the Doom 3 shooter itself and the Resurrection of Evil and Lost Mission add-ons, which included several new levels. Also included are the games Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth. Both games run under Windows 7 without additional settings. The edition of the game hit the market on October 16, 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The re-release has 3D support, improved sound and lighting. 

A new file storage system from the next generation of the Id tech engine has been added to the game engine, which allows you to significantly speed up the loading of levels. The game has got an achievement system. There is also a checkpoint system. Doom 3 BFG Edition is the first game to use the Oculus Rift. 

THE GRAFICAL PART

In this subsection of our review, the main graphical aspects of this game are revealed. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphics settings and the quality of the development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

Doom 3 is supported by almost all major operating systems Windows, MAC, Linux and even Android, so fans of the series, if desired, have the opportunity to run this game almost anywhere.

 doom3 steam

The priority and primary graphics API for Doom 3 is  OpenGL

Game engine 

Doom 3 is based on id Tech 4, a game engine developed by the American company id Software in 2004. Doom 3 games were developed on its basis. The engine was created by John Carmack, who previously did similar work on creating engines for games in the Doom and Quake series. The release of id Tech 4 was a significant event in the history of computer games, as at the time of its release it was one of the most technologically advanced and innovative game engines. The engine was released as a fully commercial product available for licensing to third parties, but after the release of id Tech 5, id Tech 4 was relicensed as free software. The "id Tech 4" engine uses OpenGL as an application programming interface.

 ID Software

id Tech 4 was originally planned as an extension to the Quake III game engine. This was originally envisioned as a complete rewrite of the rendering engine, while still retaining other subsystems such as file access and memory management. However, after the new drawing (rendering) became functional, it was decided to switch from the C programming language to C ++. This required a complete restructuring and rewriting of the rest of the engine. The id Tech 4 code today contains very small snippets of id Tech 3 (Quake III engine) code.

The first computer game to use id Tech 4 was Doom 3, released on August 3, 2004. Since the id Tech 4 engine is id Software's current technology, it is therefore the one being offered for licensing to third parties. A license for one game costs a fixed amount of money: $250,000. At the same time, the game can be released on any of the supported platforms, or on all at the same time. If the licensee wants to use the engine in multiple games, the terms change. When purchasing the engine, the buyer receives the entire source code of id Tech 4 and support for the following hardware and software platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. id Software guarantees support for the engine, purity and stability of the program code, and timely release of the necessary updates to the engine. Before licensing, the buyer can obtain an evaluation (trial) SDK.

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The disadvantage of the id Tech 4 engine was that it needed a high performance graphics accelerator (like the GeForce FX or Radeon 9700) that was at least compatible with OpenGL 2.0 and also had fully programmable pixel and vertex (vertex) shaders. By E3 2002, the recommended GPU was the Radeon 9700 with 128 MB VRAM; The efficiency, advanced architecture, and 256-bit bus of the Radeon 9700 were essential to playing Doom 3 at high graphics settings and playable frame rates.

The release of id Tech 4 made the GeForce 2, Radeon 7200 and earlier class graphics designs (RIVA TNT2 and Rage 128) obsolete, as the engine required OpenGL 2.0 support, which these designs lacked. Also, the engine did not support software rendering, which was provided by the Intel GMA series of integrated graphics cards. Back then, before id Tech 4, a strong CPU could make up for a weak graphics card. Prior to the release of Doom 3, John Carmack warned players not to buy GeForce 4 MX graphics cards to play the game, as those cards support OpenGL 1.x but not OpenGL 2.0. However, many inexperienced consumers mistakenly bought the GeForce 4 MX, confusing them with the GeForce 4 Ti. This is what led id Software to add GeForce 4 MX support to the engine, making these cards the only OpenGL 1.x cards on which Doom 3 was launched. However, there have been cases where enthusiasts have managed to run Doom 3 on non-supporting graphics cards, such as the 3dfx Voodoo 2, but these cards were unable to render per-pixel lighting and bulge construction.

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id Tech 4 adds a lot of new features not found in the id Tech 3 engine that preceded it. These included building bulges using normal maps and specular lighting. The main innovation of the id Tech 4 engine was its use of fully dynamic per-pixel lighting. Until that time, all previous 3D engines were based primarily on pre-calculated lighting or lightmaps, and although dynamic effects were available before, the effect simply changed the brightness of the entire object. The approach used in Doom 3 featured more realistic lighting and shadows than previous PC games. 

Unified Lighting and Shading is a light propagation model developed in 2004 by id Software and incorporated into the id Tech 4 game engine. Previous 3D games such as Quake III Arena used separate lighting models to determine how light illuminates game characters and environment. Lighting and shading information for game levels and maps was static, pre-generated and pre-saved, while the same information for game characters was calculated in real time (on the fly).

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Doom 3, the first game powered by id Tech 4, uses a unified model that generates lighting and shading on the fly. This means that any light sources affect the entire scene, not just a predetermined part of it. The possibilities of this technology include the possibility of self-shadowing, which is implemented using shadow volumes. Using shadow volumes, characters can cast shadows on themselves: for example, a person's chin can cast a shadow on their chest. 

 

Advanced game settings

 

The original version of Doom 3 has both basic and advanced graphics settings. In total, four quality levels are available for all types of settings: ultra, high, medium and low. You can also manipulate individual settings, but their number is very modest. Doom 3 BFG Edition does not have a change in quality settings, so he did not understand this subparagraph.

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Different quality modes of Doom 3
bottom 1 sr 1 max 1
bottom 2 sr 2 max 2

As we can see, before the quality of the graphics takes place, and the change in the quality of the picture is very significant.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K Doom 3
hd d3 1 4k d3 1
hd d3 2 hd d3 2

In 4K, the difference from FullHD is not very distinguishable, due to the lack of high-resolution textures.

 

Comparison of Doom 3 anti-aliasing modes

 

aa off d3 aa d3

Anti-aliasing in Doom 3 works well and completely eliminates all surface irregularities.

 

Comparison of FullHD and 4K Doom 3 BFG Edition
hd 1 4k1
hd 2 4k2

 

In 4K, Doom 3 BFG Edition looks somewhat crisper and better than in HD.

Comparison of Doom 3 BFG Edition anti-aliasing modes
aa off aa

Anti-aliasing, similar to the first version of Doom 3, works great.

General visual design and comparison of Doom 3 versions

Information about the graphics in Doom 3 was described in detail in our previous section about the game engine, and it makes no sense to procrastinate the same thing again. In this section of our review, we decided to directly compare the quality of graphics in Doom 3 and Doom 3 BFG Edition and convey these comparisons to the end user.

Doom 3 1 Doom 3 BFG Edition 1
Doom 3 2 Doom 3 BFG Edition 2
Doom 3 3 Doom 3 BFG Edition 3
Doom 3 4 Doom 3 BFG Edition 4
Doom 3 5 Doom 3 BFG Edition 5
Doom 3 6 Doom 3 BFG Edition 6

Doom 3 BFG Edition certainly has improvements, as mentioned above, the lighting in it is more attractive than in the original version. But still, the texture detail in the original version of Doom 3 is somewhat higher, apparently for the previous generation of consoles, the developers had to simplify the game a little... But judging by the sensations, it’s more pleasant to play in Doom 3 BFG Edition, apparently due to the presence of 4K permissions...

.Next, we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware. 

TEST PART

Test configuration

test stands

 

Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Benchmark #7 Based on AMD Socket AM3+ Platform

Benchmark #8 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform

 

multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor  ASUS PQ321QE

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 340.43

AMD Catalyst 14.6

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v 3 beta 19

GPU Mist

FRAPS

GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The average and minimum FPS were taken as the performance indicator. Below is a video of the test segment:   

 Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Doom 3. Anti-aliasing was taken based on the maximum allowable limits for AMD video cards, namely 8X. Doom 3 has a frame cap of 62 FPS, while Doom 3 BFG Edition has a frame cap of 120 FPS.

 

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

 

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Doom 3

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Doom 3 BFG Edition

d3 bg 1920  

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS.

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 Doom 3 

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS.

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 Doom 3 BFG Edition

d3 bg 2560

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon HD 6850 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS. The best solutions would be  Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti . 

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560 Doom 3 BFG Edition

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With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R7 260X or GeForce GTX 660 level showed an acceptable FPS.

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560 Doom 3 BFG Edition

d3 bg 3840

With these settings,  video cards of the Radeon R9 270 or GeForce GTX 660 level showed an acceptable FPS.  Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 660 would be the best solutions. 

 As we can see from the testing, it turned out to be just an incredible contrast - in the original Doom 3, AMD video cards are far ahead, and in the latest Doom 3 BFG Edition, NVIDIA video cards, to be honest, we expected that the alignment of forces in both games would be the same...

 

 Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA were taken as an indicator at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1600 with various anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings Doom 3 

d3vram 

The recommended amount of video memory usage for 1920x1080 resolution will be 512 MB of video memory, for 2560x1600 resolution - 768 MB of video memory and for 3840x2160 resolution about 1024 MB of video memory.  

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings Doom 3 BFG Edition

d3 bfg vram 

The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 640 MB of video memory,  for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 1024 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 1280 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 15 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080  Doom 3

 

  d3proz

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080  Doom 3 BFG Edition

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In all cases, CPU performance in games is quite sufficient. 

Loading processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel% Doom 3

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Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % Doom 3 

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Loading processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel% Doom 3 BFG Edition

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Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % Doom 3 BFG Edition 

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Both versions of the game show the same results and are currently capable of supporting up to 4 computational threads, which, in fact, is not so bad.

RAM test

The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory. All used RAM was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without running extraneous applications (browsers, etc.). 

Doom 3 System RAM Consumption Testing 

 d3 ram

With a 4 GB system, Doom 3 consumes about 1.3 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 1.8 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 2.3 GB.    

Doom 3 BFG Edition RAM consumption testing 

d3 bfg ram 

With a 4 GB system, Doom 3 BFG Edition consumes about 1.5 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 2 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 2.4 GB. 


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