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
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.
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
3DMark2001, Video & Encoding Tests