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Performance in Gaming Benchmarks: Lock-On: Modern Air Combat

“Lock-On: Modern Air Combat” continues the glorious series of flight simulators from the Eagle Dynamics team. The new game is based on the “Flanker 2.5” with some major improvements. I guess the graphics of this game matches and even surpasses that of the outstanding “Il-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles”.

The graphics engine creates weather effects, shadow and lighting effects, realistic water surfaces, explosions, clouds and the cloud deck, effects of light refraction in the reaction jets from the engines. Add also realistic models of warlike equipment and a highly detailed landscape. I may have forgotten something, feel free to make your corrections any time :).

Lock-On allows playing records, so I had no problems during the tests. I used two demo records included into the game distributive as published by 1C:Games. They are Demo-Su27-Aerobatic and Demo-Mig29-Intercept. Both records are quite long, so I played only 3 minutes of each demo benchmarking the cards with the Fraps utility.

Lock-On puts the entire system under a serious workload, including the central processor and the graphics card. So I preferred to give up resolutions above 1024x768. As a result, I tested the graphics cards in the most popular mode: 1024x768 with FSAA and AF enabled. I also used three graphics quality presets offered by the game: “High”, “Middle” and “Low”.

The first demo is Demo-Su27-Aerobatic:

This screenshot displays the effect of light refraction in the jet of hot air. The effect is implemented with the help of DirectX 8 pixel shaders. Overall, Demo-Su27-Aerobatic is an “easy” record, and both graphics cards provide sufficient gaming performance under the highest graphics quality settings:

The results of the overclocked EVGA e-GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and when the card was working at nominal frequencies don’t differ much. It is the central processor, which acts as a limiting factor with all three graphics quality presets, therefore the increase in the graphics card performance didn’t affect the results of the test that much. Switching between “quality” and “fast” AF doesn’t bring any significant advantages to any of the cards.

As for the ranking, GeForce FX 5950 Ultra is somewhat faster than RADEON 9800 XT in Demo-Su27-Aerobatic.

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