'Doom Eternal' Runs at 1,000 FPS, If You've Got Liquid Nitrogen

"While id Tech 7 allows games like DOOM Eternal to scale to a wide range of machines, a device capable of hitting its FPS limit was purely theoretical... or so we thought."
August 28, 2020, 3:02pm
A Liquid Nitrogen-Cooled Gaming Rig Runs 'Doom Eternal' at 1,000 FPS
Screengrab: YouTube/Bethesda Polska

The engine that runs Doom Eternal, iD Tech 7, is so powerful that it can run the game at 1,000 frames per second. To achieve levels of such intense gaming requires an RTX 2080TI, a Intel i9 9700K, a 1200w power supply, and a bucket of liquid nitrogen to keep the whole thing cool. Doom Eternal hitting massive FPS heats up the system so much that only the -196 degrees Celsius liquid nitrogen could keep the whole thing cool.

The quest to achieve 1,000 FPS began when Doom Eternal lead programmer Billy Khan told IGN in March that the iD Tech 7 engine could hit such lofty frame rates provided it had the right hardware. Bethesda’s community manager in Poland, Lukasz Lesniewski, took this as a personal challenge and set out to find a team of overclockers that could build a machine powerful enough to push Doom Eternal to the limit.

“While id Tech 7 allows games like DOOM Eternal to scale to a wide range of machines, a device capable of hitting its FPS limit was purely theoretical… or so we thought,” Lesniewski wrote in a post on Bethesda’s community site Slayersclub.

He found Polish hardware retailer x-kom, which helped Lesniewski construct the machine. It’s not a typical gaming rig. Devoid of a case, the motherboard sits on a piece of foam with the monstrous 1200w power supply off to one side. A large cooling chamber sits on top of the processor with another alongside the GPU.

The team used thermometers to manage the temperature on the CPU and GPU and poured liquid nitrogen into the cooling chambers to keep the machines from burning out. Running Doom Eternal’s ‘Hell on Earth’ level, the team reached a high of 1,014 FPS. 

For Khan, the achievement speaks to the versatility of the iD Tech 7 engine. “We wanted as many people in the world to play DOOM as possible,” Khan said of the achievement on Slayersclub. “Yes, the uber machines benefit from that, but also someone playing on a slightly older PC will be able to enjoy it.”