AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Dual-Core
Unreal Tournament 2004 & Doom 3
Next we delved into the gaming side of things a bit and performed some low-resolution benchmarking with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2004. We specifically used a "Low-Quality" game setting with UT2004 which allows us to isolate CPU and memory performance with little burden on the graphics subsystem.
In our Unreal Tournament 2004 test, there really isn't anything interesting to report unfortunately. As we can see, dual core CPU resources afford no advantage in UT2004's aging game engine. New Epic titles forthcoming will undoubtedly make use of multi-threading on some level but for now, the Athlon 64s have their typical gaming edge over Intel's Pentium 4 EE and from there it's all about clock speed.
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's more CPU / Memory-bound than anything else...
With Doom 3 there is a bit more to tell but since we're running these benchmarks in a "timedemo" script, the test results look a lot like our UT2004 scores. Doom 3 is actually multithreaded, with engine physics and AI being driven on a separate thread. However, in a timedemo scenario, the engine is in playback mode so AI is taken completely out of the picture and the effects of physics calculations are much less prominent. As a result we see the Athlon 64 X2 4800+, with its 2.4GHz cores, show a small advantage over the Athlon 64 4000+ which is also clocked at 2.4GHz. All told however, the Athlon 64 still shows itself, dual core or otherwise, as an excellent processor for most current gaming applications.