AquaMark3 and WolfET CPU Tests
In the immortal words of Terrance Tate - Office Linebacker, when it's game time, it's pain time baby...
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 and memory performance, without being limited by the graphics subsystem.
Here the Athlon 64s best Intel's fastest gaming combination, the i925X and P4 Extreme Edition, by about 5%. In a fast pace shooter like Wolf ET, this is probably inconsequential to the gamer but sometimes every frame counts in the heat of the battle. Also, since Quake 3 engine games are so system and memory bandwidth intensive, its interesting to note the subtle differences in i925X, i915 and i875 performance in this benchmark.
AquaMark3 is a shader intensive benchmark that can drive a graphics subsystem fairly hard, with its combination of DX8 and DX9 effects. While this benchmark suite does have a CPU specific test, we want to align our results more with real world gaming scenarios and the effect host processor power has on performance. As a result, we fired up the benchmark's standard frame rate test but dialed the resolution and graphical detail down significantly, to highlight processor performance more prominently.
Once again the two high end Athlon 64s sweep by a comfortable margin but this time Intel's fastest combination is the 3.4GHz Extreme Edition and the i875.