AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51

AMD's Athlon 64 FX51 - Page 5

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

By, Marco Chiappetta
And Dave Altavilla
September 23, 2003

To isolate CPU performance, we ran some low-resolution tests with Novalogic's Combat Helicopter simulation, Comanche 4.  We often use this test in our evaluation of 3D Graphics cards, but it is actually better suited as processor / system bandwidth benchmarks.  Frame rates in Comanche 4 generally scale upwards, with increased processor and memory clock speeds, especially at lower resolutions.  To further isolate CPU performance characteristics, we also disabled audio in this test.

Benchmarks With Comanche 4
DirectX 8 Gaming: Simulator

The Athlon 64 FX-51 posted the highest non-overclocked Comanche 4 score, we had ever seen here in the HotHardware labs, until the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition arrived.  The Athlon 64 FX-51 was 10.2% faster than the standard 3.2GHz P4 and 28.6% faster than the XP 3200+.  However, Intel's Extreme Edition P4 managed to nudge past the FX-51, even if it was by less than a single frame per second.  The performance delta between the FX and EE falls well within the margin of error in this test however.

Benchmarks With Unreal Tournament 2003
DirectX 8 Gaming: First Person Shooter

Next, we did some benchmarking with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2003.  When testing with UT 2003, we use special game engine initialization settings, that ensure all of the systems are benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options.  For these tests, we used a "Low-Quality" setting that isolates CPU performance.

With the only frame-rate well past the 200FPS mark, the Athlon 64 FX-51 was the clear victor in the Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmark.  At 215.8FPS, the FX-51 was a full 17.5% faster than Intel's Extreme Edition Pentium 4 and it outpaced the Athlon XP 3200+ by 22.1%.  The standard 3.2GHz Pentium 4 brought up the rear.  It seems as though Epic's Unreal engine has always favored the Athlon architecture and the legacy continues with the Athlon 64 FX-51.

Benchmarks With Quake 3 Arena
OpenGL Gaming: First Person Shooter

We also used the Granddaddy of all OpenGL gaming benchmarks, Quake 3 Arena, to test the Athlon 64 FX-51 along with the rest of our test systems.  We installed the latest v1.32 point release and ran a series of tests using the built-in "Four" time-demo.  We configured Quake 3 to use the "Fastest" graphics option and disabled in-game audio. 

With an impressive frame-rate of 507.1FPS, the Athlon 64 FX-51 outperformed the "classic" 3.2GHz Pentium 4 by 8.7% and surged past the Athlon XP 3200+ by a healthy 24.5%.  The Extreme Edition Pentium 4, however, was able to nudge past the FX-51 by a few frames per second.  With frame rates this high, it seems like AMD wasn't just slinging marketing hype, when they said the FX-51 was a "gamer's CPU"!

3DMark2001, Video & Encoding Tests

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