A few weeks before Doom Eternal’s release on March 20 this year, id Software’s lead engine programmer, Billy Khan, spoke about the new and improved id Tech 7 engine powering Doom Eternal. One of the main highlights in his interview was the engine’s capability to run the game at 1,000 fps, given the right hardware. Well, Bethesda has recently partnered with a Polish hardware firm, x-kom, and set up the right hardware to get the Slayer running past that magical number.
Doom Eternal is all about killing demons, fast. Sure, the game bestows players with a variety of weapons and plenty of ways to glory kill enemies, but the frequent running out (and recouping) of resources in the midst of aggressive battles always keeps players on the edge of their seats.
It seems fitting then, for a game of lightning-fast reflexes to be running at the maximum number of frames that current hardware allows for, especially since the capability itself had previously been teased by developers with optimizations that shone through in the game’s PC benchmarks.
To accomplish this feat, a team of Polish overclocking enthusiasts from x-kom took on Bethesda’s Doom Eternal 1K FPS challenge and set on building an overclocked test bench equipped with an Intel Core i7 9700K, Asus RTX 2080Ti Strix GPU, 2 x 8GB of HyperX Predator 4,000 MHz CL19 RAM and 512 GB of Samsung’s m.2 NVMe Evo Plus SSD. These components sat on an Asus Maximus XI Apex motherboard, powered by Be Quiet’s Straight Power 1200W PSU.
Lots of overclocking and cooling were in order, which is why the CPU and GPU in the open-air test bench were fitted with a custom cooling solution and then had plenty of liquid nitrogen poured over them until the 9700K touched 6.6GHz and the 2080Ti Strix clocked in at 2.4GHz.
Several other tweaks can be seen in the video as well since getting Doom Eternal running into four figures isn’t achievable without a few compromises (for now). The game’s resolution has been set at 1,280 x 720 with HDR disabled and it’s running on Vulkan. As the overclocking is increased, alongside added servings of liquid nitrogen, the game eventually reaches and crosses the magical 1,000 fps figure (around the 2:40 mark).
Granted the Slayer is pretty much standing still in a dark empty room (likely a tutorial) when that happens, the game is still hovering between 600-800 fps on 720p while in-action and around 500-600 fps on 1080p, figures that speak volumes about id Tech 7’s underlying tech and scalability.
x-kom’s Piotr “Lipton” Szymanski and Marcin “Ryba” Rywak undertook this project as part of Bethesda’s QuakeCon at Home event. Given that the duo has been able to cross the magical 1,000 fps mark for Doom Eternal on current-gen hardware, albeit with a few compromises, it’ll be interesting to see what they could achieve with Nvidia’s upcoming 3000 series GPUs.