The Benchmark Issue

Although we mentioned that there’s not much you can do to make a timedemo really favor one CPU architecture over another, you all demanded that we try with one of our demos.  We put our Quake 4 demo file on a USB drive and copied it over to the Conroe and Athlon 64 FX-60 systems that Intel had setup.  Note that the version of Quake 4 installed was 1.0.5.0 which is newer than what we test with in our CPU reviews, so you can’t directly compare the numbers to previous AnandTech results but at least we’d be able to see if Intel’s Quake 4 demo was somehow giving Conroe the unfair advantage. 

We re-ran Intel’s Quake 4 demo to confirm our initial results.  Much to our surprise, we actually short-changed Intel the first time around. We noted that Conroe held a 28% performance advantage over the 2.8GHz Athlon 64 FX-60 with SMP disabled, but with it enabled the performance advantage shrunk to 15%.  We re-tested and confirmed our suspicions that Conroe’s Quake 4 performance with SMP enabled was more in line at a 24% advantage:

Quake 4 - r_useSMP=0

Quake 4 - r_useSMP=1

But what we’re really interested in is how Conroe performed in the very same Quake 4 demo that has been favoring AMD processors in all of our CPU reviews.  We loaded up our Quake 4 demo and had at it:

Quake 4 - AnandTech Demo - r_useSMP=0

Quake 4 - AnandTech Demo - r_useSMP=1

With SMP enabled we see that Conroe holds an even larger 31% performance advantage and with it disabled, the unreleased CPU was 29% faster.  If anything, Intel’s own demo was a little more conservative on Conroe and definitely not optimized to make AMD look bad. 

The BIOS Issue The F.E.A.R. Issue
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  • theteamaqua - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    actually its FX 60, sorry Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Well the Intel Desperation Forum is just about complete and as usual it's just another Dog and Phony show where the naive get manipulated by Intel. And the media will be hyping the Intel gospel now with FUD beyond compare until the next Intel Desperation Forum. It's pretty amazing the FUD Intel can produce but they can't produce quality CPUs. Shows where their interest is focused. Reply
  • stopkidding - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Ok, I have always been a passive reader to these forums. I read more out of curiosity about user perceptions to technology than to engage in some mindless ranting with arrogant arm chair scientists and geeks who have no better use of their time than to seek validation from fellow lifeless nerds! having said that, here is my message to AMD fanboys.

    I value competition, and admire what AMD have done with their limited resources and creative use of new technology. So they have had their fair share of the spotlight. A pat on AMD's back. Good job. Having said that, it really pisses me off when people take this to be a free for all Intel bashing event. Most people have no idea, how great the contributions of Intel have been to advance the state of art in the world of computing. While the nerds are busy talking about giga this and mega that, Intel is quietly investing billions of dollars into research that is fundamental to the core of all forms of computing, be it hardware, software or the cutting edge manufacturing processes. Intel invented the whole performance game, took it to the next level and AMD has always had a free ride on countless technologies that Intel gives away for free to the computing world. Be it investing money into standards are USB, PCI, Wifi, Wimax, the open source community, compiler research, etc to advancing the lives people around the world my investing tons of money in technology education programs around the world (Intel has trained 3 million teachers world wide and plans to train another 10 million). The list and contributions are endless.

    So the point its, which i hope your turd filled brains will get it at some point, Intel is why we have what we have today. While a fair and balanced critisism of products and technology misteps is required, it is ultimately competetion and the market that decides the victor, and trust me kiddos, most of you here haven't got a clue about what you are talking about.....geez people grow up!!

    PS: Neither AMD64 nor EM64T technologies are true 64 bit processors, there are merely extensions to 32 bit processors that allow them access 64 bit memory! ARGGHH!!!
    Reply
  • dysonlu - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    While I agree that huge corporations such as Intel do contribute to the world with technology advancements. Please don't make it sound like they are doing it out of pure love ("give away for free")! Big companies develop stuff to create new markets with which they can grow their overall business and make more money. Intel had no other choice than to co-operate with others and share technologies for a given new market to be viable. Reply
  • stopkidding - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    I totally agree with you, Intel invests in the ecosystem to grow the market, no charity here. My point was the relentless, meritless bashing of Intel, making it seem like a company that is upto no good. I was merely listing the accomplishments that matter to the industry. what forums like this do is reduce all of that to a few fps on a game to decide who is great and who is not. as the saying goes, "the 0.1 % of the market makes 99.9% of the thrashy noise". the gamers are self aborbed pretentios hacks who know nothing...... Reply
  • Cerb - Saturday, March 11, 2006 - link

    PS: Neither AMD64 nor EM64T technologies are true 64 bit processors, there are merely extensions to 32 bit processors that allow them access 64 bit memory! ARGGHH!!!

    How are they not? 64-bit registers makes...64-bit CPU.

    The extensions make mostly wider and longer sets of registers. AFAIK, they are at 40/48-bit memory access. They are as much 64-bit processors as any others; they're just not compeltely redesigned from the ground up, because consumers and businesses that are used to using binary apps hate that.
    Reply
  • stopkidding - Monday, March 13, 2006 - link

    modern 32 bit processors for a long time have had 128 bit registers for floating point operations. the conroe as 128 bit instruction sets and registers for SSE instructions and 128 bit for fp. does that make it a 128 bit processor? Reply
  • Cerb - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - link

    For marketting weenies, it does :). Like many other things, being x-bit is not any great and useful metric, except to differentiate it from its past (IA32, now x86-64). Reply
  • smut - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    Get with reality! People are always going to live by the mindset "What have you done for me lately" or "Your only as good as your last hit" Who cares what they did many years ago? This is not my point of view, just saying why you had to make that point, because no one cares about that stuff these days and thats the way fanbois will continue to think. Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Friday, March 10, 2006 - link

    EM64T is an extension, yes, but AMD64? What is your source on that? From what I recall the AMD64 instruction are real 64-bit instructions, rather than 32-bit instructions with bigger memory adressing capabilities...
    Reply

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