It's hard to believe three years have passed since Medal of Honor: Airborne was released for the PC, and even harder to accept that the original MoH: Allied Assault debuted way back in 2002. I'm sure fans of the series have long awaited this moment, but personally despite the number of entries to the MoH franchise over the years, Airborne was admittedly the first I played extensively. Don't get me wrong, it's not that previous games in the series were bad, they just failed to impress me from what I could see on the surface and as a result I was quick to pass over them.
That wasn't the case with MoH: Airborne, which I picked up solely for benchmarking purposes but then I found it difficult to pull myself away from the game. I can't recall the last time I was motivated enough to play a single player campaign from start to finish, so when I heard about the 2010 version of Medal of Honor I instantly looked into pre-ordering the game.
Developed by EA's Danger Close and DICE, this latest installment is simply titled "Medal of Honor." Meant to reboot the series, MoH takes place during the ongoing war in Afghanistan featuring both single and multiplayer modes. For the purpose of this article we are focusing on single player performance. Medal of Honor is unique in that it uses two different graphics engines for single player and multiplayer modes, so all the performance testing we are about show you will only reflect output in the single player mode.
Single player uses a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3 while the multiplayer segment was built with DICE's Frostbite. Frostbite was also used in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which we looked at earlier this year and we suspect that the hardware requirements will be very similar. Unreal Engine 3 is much older however, and probably not as demanding, so it will be interesting to see how Medal of Honor performs.
High Quality Performance
High quality settings at 1680x1050 were very playable when using the GeForce GTX 480, which rendered an average of 124fps. Meanwhile, GeForce GTX 285 shocked us with 98fps, making it 2fps faster than both the GeForce GTX 470 and Radeon HD 5870. The GeForce GTX 460 also cleaned up at 93fps.
Older generation cards still have what it takes in Medal of Honor with the GeForce GTX 275 delivering 89fps while the GTX 260 averaged 77fps. The Radeon HD 4890 was considerably slower at 60fps, which was on par with the GeForce GTS 450. The Radeon HD 5770 mustered 56fps while the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce 9800 GT averaged about the same at 44fps and 45fps. Budget graphics cards such as the GeForce GT 240 and Radeon HD 5670 bombed out with less than 40fps.
Increasing the resolution to 1920x1200 didn't change much and performance trends remained very similar, though low-end graphics cards such as the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce 9800 GT dropped below 40fps.
At 2560x1600, the GeForce GTX 480 slipped well below the 100fps barrier, averaging 67fps — still a convincing lead. The Radeon HD 5870 took second place with a playable 57fps.
The GeForce GTX 285 remained strong at 55fps while the GeForce GTX 470 was slightly slower with 52fps. Even the GeForce GTX 460 did okay with 49fps, making it slightly faster than the GeForce GTX 275. The Radeon HD 5850 was again disappointing at 44fps — 2fps faster than the old GeForce GTX 260.
Beyond that, cards failed to deliver smooth performance with graphics cards such as the Radeon HD 5830 and HD 4890 averaging 38fps.
When we started testing different CPUs with Medal of Honor, it became apparent that the quad-core processors offered considerably better performance. This isn't something we've seen before with games based on the Unreal Engine 3, so we decided to provide a few CPU utilization screenshots as backup:
Medal of Honor can take advantage of four cores to their fullest and is undoubtedly optimized for the current crop of quad-core processors. It's also interesting to note that the game utilizes all six cores in the Phenom II X6, although the load isn't spread as evenly.
The Phenom II X4 970 was surprisingly the fastest processor during our tests. The Phenom II X6 1075T, which is clocked 500MHz lower than the Phenom II X4 970, was the second fastest. We're used to seeing the Core i7 920 and Core i5 750 at the top of such graphs, but they placed third and fourth this time.
The Athlon II X4 645 also performed well, ranking just below the Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The Core 2 Quad Q6600 was the slowest quad-core chip tested, but it still outperformed the newer dual-core Core i3 and Phenom II X2 processors in Medal of Honor.
MoH: The Reboot
Medal of Honor Screenshot Gallery
Image Quality Comparison
High Quality Performance
Medium Quality Performance
Low Quality Performance
CPU Scaling - Core i7 9xx
Republished with permission from TechSpot.com.
Steven Walton is the chief hardware editor at TechSpot; he also runs his own review site Legion Hardware.
TechSpot is a computer technology publication serving PC enthusiasts, gamers and IT pros since 1998.