Gamers like high frame rates. But imagine hitting an insane 1,000 frames per second.
Well, it’s possible on the PC game Doom Eternal—if you have some liquid nitrogen on hand.
In March, the makers of Doom Eternal, id Software, boasted about how the game’s engine is theoretically capable of over 1,000fps. The only challenge is today’s PC hardware; even a high-end machine can only squeeze out 250fps when running Doom Eternal at 1080p.
id Software itself only managed to achieve 400fps on the game using its own PC setups. So whether the 1,000fps rate was achievable in the real world remained unclear until the game’s publisher, Bethesda, decided to try and answer the question.
It turns out the first-person shooter can reach over 1,000fps, but you’ll have to overclock an already-powerful PC gaming machine, speeding up the CPU processor and graphics card beyond the normal specifications. To demonstrate this, Bethesda tapped computer experts at Polish retailer x-kom, which created a gaming rig using Intel’s Core i7-9700K eight-core processor, but boosting the max clock speed from 4.9GHz to 6.6GHz.
The GPU, the Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti, was also boosted from 1.6GHz to 2.4GHz. In addition, the experts at x-kom fitted their machine with a 1,200-watt power supply, or about double what the GPU normally requires.
The setup initially allowed the machine to reach 500 to 600fps when running Doom Eternal. But to reach the 1,000 benchmark, the experts at x-kom had to use liquid nitrogen to prevent the machine from overheating and sizzling the circuits inside.
Using liquid nitrogen to cool a PC is certainly extreme. But it’s an established practice in the PC overclocking community, which focuses on testing the limits of PC components. The liquid, which can reach temperatures of -320 Fahrenheit, is dumped into a metal “pot” placed on top of the processor. The liquid will eventually evaporate but the pot will freeze, keeping the CPU underneath cool.
Thanks to the liquid nitrogen, the machine was able to reach the 1,000 benchmark without melting down on the second day of testing.
“The Doom Slayer (the game’s main character) was walking through the opening corridor of Doom Eternal’s ‘Hell on Earth’ level when all eight CPU cores clocked at nearly 6.6GHz, and the frame meter registered exactly 1,006 frames per second. It even went up as high as 1,014 FPS during a tutorial map, exceeding the 1,000 FPS goal with frames to spare,” Bethesda wrote in the announcement.
The feat is certainly impressive. And according to Bethesda, it also shows the graphics technology in Doom Eternal will improve as gamers upgrade their PC gaming rigs. Now all we need is a monitor capable of running 1,000fps.