AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51

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AMD's Athlon 64 FX51 - Page 4

The Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor
AMD Drops the Hammer, On Your Desktop!

By, Marco Chiappetta
And Dave Altavilla
September 23, 2003

We used SPECviewperf v7.1 for our next batch of tests.  SPECviewperf is a program that tests a workstation's OpenGL rendering performance with a variety of different "viewsets", taken from a number of popular CAD and DCC applications, like 3D Studio Max, Pro Engineer and Unigraphics.  This is another benchmark that usually shows significant performance gains directly correlating with increased overall system bandwidth.  It is also affected by the graphics card's performance.  However, because we used the same card on all of our test systems, that factor was removed from the equation. 

The SPEC.Org website explains what this benchmark does to test system performance:

"SPECviewperf measures the 3D rendering performance of systems running under the OpenGL application programming interface (API). The benchmark's viewsets represent a similar mix of graphics rendering and manipulation found in actual applications. There are currently six viewsets based on popular applications for digital content creation, CAD/CAM and visualization."

Benchmarks With SPECviewperf v7.1

Surprisingly, the Athlon 64 FX-51 didn't fare very well in the SPECviewperf v7.1 benchmark.  The FX-51 managed to pull ahead of the standard Pentium 4 3.2GHz and Athlon XP 3200+ in ugs-03 and light-06 viewsets, but in all of the other tests it didn't perform very well at all.  Either this benchmark prefers the Athlon XP 3200+'s shorter pipeline, or it hasn't been optimized for AMD's new architecture as of yet.  The P4 Extreme Edition's extra 2MB of L3 cache help it sweep many of the SPECviewperf tests, except for the dx-08 test.

Update: It seems like the nForce 3 may be the reason for the lower than expected scores in this test.  Some other publications tested the FX-51 with VIA's K8T800 chipset and saw much better scores.

Benchmarks With KribiBench v1.1

Next up, we used the KribiBench benchmark produced by Adept Development.  KribiBench is an SSE aware software renderer.  A 3D model is rendered and animated by the host CPU and the average frames per second are reported.  We used two of the included models with this benchmark; an Office model consisting of 42K polygons and an absolutely gargantuan "Ultra" model that is comprised of over 16G (million) polygons!

With KribiBench's "Office" model, the Athlon 64 FX-51 was competitive with the standard 3.2GHz P4, and much faster than the 3200+, but the P4 3.2GHz Extreme Edition was clearly the victor in this test.  The 3.2GHz P4 EE was 24.7% faster than the standard P4, and a full 33.9% faster than the Athlon 64 FX-51.  However, KribiBench's "Ultra" model slowed every system to a crawl.  None of the four test machines were able to break the 1FPS barrier with the Ultra model.

Benchmarks With Cinebench 2003

The Cinebench 2003 benchmark is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test, based on the commercially available Cinema 4D application.  This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a single 3D scene.  The time it took each test system to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below (listed in seconds).  Cinebench 2003 also recognizes an HT enabled P4 as either one or two CPUs.  We tested the P4s with the single-CPU and dual-CPU tests.  The Athlons could only be benchmarked with the single-CPU test.

The Pentium 4s outperformed the Athlons in the Cinebench 2003 benchmark by a decent margin.  The P4 EE's L3 cache didn't give it much of a boost over the standard P4, but it didn't matter.  In the single CPU tests, AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 fell about 6.4% short of the 3.2GHz P4, but it was about 9.6% faster than the 3200+.  With Hyperthreading enabled, running Cinebench 2003's Dual-CPU test, gives the Pentium 4 a significant performance edge in this benchmark.

Gaming Scores

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