Unigine Heaven 4.0 Test
While Heaven 4.0 is a “synthetic” benchmark, it nonetheless gives you a good idea of your total system performance. To score well in Heaven, you must have a beefy graphics system and a CPU that can keep it fed. Heaven follows a camera among the islands of a floating, medieval-style village, rendered with exquisite detail.
Heaven was one of the first benchmarks to exploit tessellation, an algorithmic method of applying surface roughness and detail so that the designer doesn’t have to specify the topology of (for example) each individual stone in a footpath. Tessellation handles details like this automatically, but imposes a serious additional load on the system.
As with the other graphics tests in this review, I ran Heaven with both minimal and maximal settings. There’s one thing you should understand as you read these results: when you run graphics tests with minimal settings, the CPU is generally the gating factor; whereas with maximum settings, the video card(s) become the gating factor.
Our results bear this out: we see substantial gains overclocking the FX-8320E, but even at 4.5gHz, it can’t match the per-core muscle of the i3-4360. Once we crank the settings up, though, we see the results flatten out, since the video cards are the determinant here, and all the test systems use the same GTX 580 SLI system.
In the next section I’ll beat these systems with the very tough 3DMark Firestrike Extreme test.