UT2004 and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Performance
Finally, we're to the gaming benchmarks here, a place where the i925X chipset and these two new motherboards from ABIT and ASUS should shine. Let's have a look.
Wolfenstein: EnemyTerritory is a Quake III engine-based game that is highly modified and enhanced with lots of new effects, character detail, high-res textures, and dynamic lighting effects. It is also an online game that is essentially freeware from id Software. We've recorded a custom demo run of an online match and run it through a standard time demo benchmark. Here are the results.
Clearly the Alderwood systems with CAS3 DDR2 533MHz DRAM have an edge now versus the i875 at DDR400 CAS2 speeds. Perhaps it's only a smallish 4% to 5% lead, but there is at least a consistently measurable advantage. However, this gain would most likely not be perceptible to the end user. The ASUS P5AD2, with its slightly more aggressively timed "stock" clock speeds, has a tiny lead over the ABIT AA8, but now you know why. Again, ASUS pretty much overclocks their bus speeds by a couple of MHz, even though settings are configured at stock timings in the BIOS.
For UT2004, we followed much of the same test methodology as we did in Wolf ET. We recorded a custom Bot Match demo and then dropped the resolution and detail down to low levels to allow CPU and memory bandwidth to be taxed more heavily. We ran our tests at 800X600 resolution, which was a walk in the park for the GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express card in our test system. This takes the graphics subsystem out of the critical path and puts most of the emphasis on CPU and memory performance.
Our UT2004 scores are nearly a repeat of the Wolfenstein ET scores in terms of the way they scale. There's a 3% to 4% lead for the i925X boards and a couple of fps advantage for the "stock overclocked" ASUS P5AD2.