AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
UT2004 & Doom 3
To start our in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization settings that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. Like the other in-game tests in this review, we used a "Low-Quality" graphical settings and low screen resolution which isolates CPU and memory performance.
Our custom Unreal Tournament 2004 benchmark had both of the Athlon 64 X2 processors handily outperforming the Pentium D 820. In this test, the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ outpaced the Pentium D 820 by about 30 frames per second, a difference of approximately 27%. The 4800+ was an additional 30 frames per second faster than the X2 3800+, further proving why AMD's Athlon 64 processors are highly regarded by gamers.
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom multi-player 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 too is more CPU and memory-bound than anything else.
The results reported by our custom Doom 3 benchmark essentially mirrored those of our Unreal Tournament 2004 test. Once again, the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ outperformed the Pentium D 820 -- by about 7% -- and the high-end Athlon 64 X2 4800+ surged ahead to a commanding lead. As expected, considering the CPU cost $700 - $800 more than either of the other CPUs we tested.