DFI 855GME-MGF and Pentium-M Dothan Desktop Performance
Wolfenstein ET and Unreal Tournament 2004 Benchmarks
Ids Quake engines have always been memory and system-bandwidth sensitive, so we stepped into Wolfenstein Enemy Territory for some death match induced frames-per-second testing in a low resolution drag race.
With our graphical settings set to "fastest" in the game engine, our graphics cards basically sit idle while the system processors are allowed to stretch their legs and push polygons as fast as they can muster.
With Wolf ET, it's kind of a mixed bag. A 2.5GHz overclocked Pentium M on the DFI 855GME-MGF takes out the Pentium 4 EE by a full 4 fps but still falls prey to the Athlon 64s. At 2.4GHz it's right in line with its high end P4 brethren. However, at 2GHz the Pentium M coughs and sputters across the finish line some 20 fps slower than a 3.6GHz Prescott CPU, again basically due to system memory bandwidth starvation. At this point, we should remind you that our 2.5GHz overclock was performed at default CPU voltage due to the limitation in the DFI 855GME-MGF's BIOS. If we had more core voltage range at our disposal possibly a higher overclock could have been achieved, potentially boosting the Pentium M into FX-55 territory.
When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization settings that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. Like the other in-game tests, we used a "low-quality", low resolution setting with UT2004 that isolated CPU performance.
Here we see almost an identical picture to what we saw in our Wolfenstein: ET benchmark. An overclocked Pentium M is easily the fastest Intel processor for this gaming scenario and it even gives the Athlon 64 4000+ a run for its money, with significantly cooler and quieter thermal and acoustical signatures than any desktop CPU.