AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 & Athlon 64 4000+
3DMark05 - CPU Test & Wolfenstein: ET
It's not an actual game, but 3DMark05's built-in CPU test is a "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance among similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are generated with a software renderer, which is dependant on the host CPU's performance. This means that the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the central processor. The number of frames generated per second in each test are used to determine the final score.
Looking at the results above, it's clear that cache size has little impact on performance in 3DMark05's built-in CPU performance test. The 3800+, with only half the cache of the FX-53 or 4000+, came out ahead of the other 2.4GHz processors, and the Pentium 4 560 edged out the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. The Athlon 64 FX-55 was once again the fastest CPU of the bunch, obviously outpacing all of the lower-clocked Athlons and nudging past the P4 560 by 38 points.
To start our actual in-game testing, we ran through a batch of time demos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein that was released a few years back. It uses a heavily modified version of the Quake III engine, which makes it a very easy-to-use benchmarking tool. We ran this test at the "Fastest" setting with a low resolution of 640 X 480, using 16-bit color and textures. Running this test with a high-end graphics card at these minimal settings isolates processor and memory performance without being limited by the graphics subsystem.
All four of the Athlon systems we tested were faster than anything in Intel's camp when tested using our custom Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory timedemo. At 140.3 FPS, the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition was the faster Intel-based system, but it finished 6.5 frames per second behind even the Athlon 64 3800+. And the Athlon 64 FX-55 just extended AMD's lead by reaching almost 160 FPS.