Abit's Fatal1ty AA8XE
Half Life 2 & Doom 3
For our next game test, we benchmarked all four of the test systems using a custom multiplayer Doom 3 timedemo. We cranked the resolution down to 640 x 480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Doom 3 typically taxes today's high-end GPUs, when it's configured at these minimal settings it's more CPU / Memory-bound than anything else...
Performance was all over the virtual map in our custom Doom 3 test. Once again, the Athlon 64 4000+ based system proved why gamers favor AMD processors at this point in time, by outpacing all of the Intel based systems. If we focus solely on the performance on the i925XE based rigs, however, we see that the Asus P5AD2-E came out on top at 153 FPS, followed closely behind by the Fatal1ty AA8XE with its 149.7 FPS.
In our last in-game test, we benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a custom recorded time demo that takes us along a cliff and through a few dilapidated shacks in an area of the "Coastal" map, battling enemies throughout. These tests were run at low-resolution and low graphical detail, to allow the CPUs to run flat out and not be held back by graphics subsystem performance.
Half Life 2 performance looked much like Doom 3, with one exception. The Athlon 64 4000+ was the fastest of the bunch - again - but in this game, the Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE was able to overtake the Asus P5AD2-E by a couple of frames per second. The Fatal1ty board's margin of victory was relatively small at less than 2 FPS, however. A performance delta that small falls well within the margin of error in this test.