AMD's Athlon 64 FX-53

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AMD's Athlon 64 FX53 - Page 5

AMD's Athlon 64 FX-53
The FX Gets Its First Speed Bump...

By, Marco Chiappetta
March 18, 2004

What do you say we move onto something a little more fun, and run some tests using a few popular games?  To start our in-game testing, we ran through a batch of time demos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.  Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein, that was released a few years back. It uses a heavily modified version of the Quake 3 engine which makes it a very easy to use benchmarking tool.  We ran the test using the "Fastest" setting at a low resolution of 640X480, using 16-bit color and textures.  Running this test with a high-end graphics card, at these minimal settings, isolates processor performance, without being limited by the graphics subsystem.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
OpenGL Quake Engine Gaming

In the first of our gaming related tests, the Athlon 64 FX-53 surpassed the 3.4GHz Extreme Edition by 7.4 frames per second, or roughly 5.6%.  7.4 FPS may not be a huge margin of victory when we're seeing frame rates well over 100 FPS, but it's still a victory for the FX-53 nonetheless.  When compared to the "standard" Pentium 4s, the FX's margin of victory is much larger, in the neighborhood of 10% - 20% range.

DirectX Gaming Performance - Sort Of

It's not an actual game, but 3DMark03's built-in CPU test give us another "gaming related" DirectX metric to compare relative performance.  This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are generated with a software renderer, which is dependant on the host CPU's performance.  This means that the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator, are instead sent to the central processor.  The number of frames generated per second in each test are used to determine the final score.

The Athlon 64 FX-53 scored another victory in the 3DMark03 CPU benchmark, albeit by a very small margin.  With a score of 831 in this test, the FX-53 was only about 1.5% "faster" than the 3.4GHz P4 EE.  If we disregard the P4 EE, however, the FX-53's performance becomes much more dominant in this test.  Without the extra 2MB of L3 cache, the equivalently clocked 3.4GHz P4C loses 102 points, which increases the FX-53's lead to approximately 16%.

Comanche 4
DirectX 8 Gaming - CPU Limited

We continued our testing with another DirectX benchmark, Novalogic's combat helicopter simulation, Comanche 4. Although this is a game benchmark that can be used to test the relative performance of video cards, frame rates are strongly influenced by processor speed and memory bandwidth, especially at low resolutions with sound disabled, which is how we ran the tests to get the frame rates listed below.

The scales tilted in favor of the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition in the low-res Comanche 4 benchmark, but like the previous two game tests, the performance delta separating the Intel and AMD flagship CPUs was relatively small - in this case, 3.4 FPS or roughly 4.4%.  The rest of the test systems performed similarly, with the FX-51 and 3.4GHz P4C posting the exact same scores, and the A64 3400+ outpacing the 3.2GHz P4C by less than 1 FPS.  Unfortunately for Intel, the new 3.2GHz "Prescott" got hammered (pun intended) in this test with a frame rate that was about 15% lower than the next "slowest" CPU in this test, the 3.2GHz P4C.

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