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Guide To Benchmarking - Page 2

By: Mike Chambers - June 20, 2000

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Quake 1

I use a batch file to benchmark the original Quake since it's the only way to change the resolution when running the OpenGL version. The batch file consists of the following commands:

glquake.exe -width 800 -height 600 -bpp 16 -heapsize 36000 -nosound -nojoy -nocdaudio -noipx +gl_finish 0 +gl_flashblend 1 gl_keeptjunctions 0 +gl_polyblend 1 +gl_texturemode GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST +gl_ztrick 1 +r_mirroralpha 1 +r_novis 0 +r_shadows 0 +r_wateralpha 1 +viewsize 120 +stopdemo +timedemo demo1

Copy this command line into a text editor such as Notepad on one contiguous line. Save the file in the same directory glquake.exe is stored and give it a .bat file extension. Point to the batch file to run the benchmark and when the demo is finished, your results will appear in the console. At this point, you can enter quit to exit the game or run another benchmark by entering timedemo demo1.

GLQuake Results

Click to enlarge - 123K

You can also benchmark using other custom demos such as bigass1. Store the demo under the \Id1 directory and enter +timedemo bigass1 in the config file to use it. You can download the bigass1 demo from our files page.

Thanks go out to 3 Fingers' and Heron's Hot Rod Shop for information related to benchmarking Quake 1.

Quake 2

For the remaining benchmarks, you can use the game menus to configure the graphics settings. Items such as resolution, color depth, and graphics detail can normally be set in a game menu. First, I delete all the configuration (.cfg) files as they could contain custom graphics settings (that were manually entered).

Quake 2 Video Options

Click to enlarge - 20K

Certain games, such as Quake 2, will default to the color depth of your Windows desktop. Be sure to remember if your are using 16 or 32-bit color:

  • After Quake 2 loads, press the ~ key, which is to the left of the number 1 key, to enter the console


  • Enter the following commands to disable sound - s_initsound 0 and then snd_restart


  • Disconnect from the server by entering disconnect


  • Enter the timedemo mode by entering timedemo 1


  • To run the timedemo, enter demomap demo1.dm2 where demo1.dm2 is the name of the demo


  • Enter the console again to see your results

If you want to run another benchmark using different settings, change the settings via the game menu and begin with the disconnect command as you don't need to disable sound again. Settings can be changed in the console as well.

Quake 2 Results

Click to enlarge - 75K

There are custom demos for Quake 2 which stress test your system more than demo1. The massive1 demo is a good measure of on-line performance while crusher tests your system under the worst of conditions. There demos are also available on the files page. Store the demos under the \baseq2\demos directory.

Thanks go out to 3 Fingers' and Heron's Hot Rod Shop for information related to benchmarking Quake 2.

Quake 3

Quake 3 is an excellent benchmark for testing the performance of modern graphics cards. Featuring a state-of-the-art graphics engine, this game makes even the best graphics cards struggle to achieve respectable frame rates at 1280x1024 using high quality settings.

There are many options you can toggle in the graphics menu. The most important of which are the color depth and texture quality settings. Avoid using the default setting as they will default to your Windows desktop color depth. Instead, enter 16 or 32 bit so you know what the settings are. As with Quake 2, you should delete any configuration files or use the setup menu to reset to the default settings.

Quake 3 Video Options

Click to enlarge - 60K

When benchmarking Quake 3, I normally use one of the predefined graphics settings such as normal or high quality. I then run a set of benchmarks and go back to the video options to change the resolution for the next benchmark. There are variations I also use, such as maximum quality, which include the high quality setting with the geometry detail at high and the texture detail slider all the way to the right.

Also, ensure that r_swapInterval 0 is set which disables vsync. This is important because it overrides the setting in the Detonator OpenGL control panel.

  • After Quake 3 loads, press the ~ key, which is to the left of the number 1 key, to enter the console


  • Enter the following commands to disable sound - s_initsound 0 and then snd_restart


  • Disconnect from the server by entering disconnect


  • Enter the timedemo mode by entering timedemo 1


  • To run the timedemo, enter demo demo001 where demo001 is the name of the demo


  • Enter the console again to see your results

If you want to run another benchmark using different settings, change the settings via the game menu and begin with the disconnect command. Many settings can be changed via the console as well.

Of particular importance is texture compression. Texture compression is enabled by default (r_ext_compress_textures 1). To disable texture compression, enter r_ext_compress_textures 0 in the console followed by vid_restart.

Another useful command is r_display_refresh which allows the monitor refresh rate to be set. This command also requires a vid_restart when entered via the console.

Quake 3 Results

Click to enlarge - 83K

There are a couple of custom demos that can be used for benchmarking Quake 3. The Quaver demo contains a large amount of textures while the NV15 demo contains an inordinate amount of polygons.

Guide to Benchmarking: Page 3

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Last Updated on October 22, 2000

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