Battle 4: AMD vs. Intel

Coming to our fourth and final battle of this Doom 3 comparison we have the comparison we've all been waiting for, AMD vs. Intel. For this comparison we benchmarked quite a few different CPUs, all K7 based processors (e.g. Athlon XP, Sempron 2800+) are colored green, all K8 based processors (e.g. Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Sempron 3100+) are colored orange and all Intel processors are blue in the graphs:

The first thing you'll notice is that the top of the chart is dominated almost exclusively by AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX processors. Even the Athlon 64 3400+ manages to outperform the almighty Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4, not to mention that the FX-53 distances itself from Intel's fastest by no less than 18%.

Making our way further down the chart we see that the Athlon 64 3000+ is quite possibly the best buy for excellent Doom 3 performance, weighing in right between the two Extreme Edition processors at less than 20% of the cost of those chips.

Next we have all of the Pentium 4s that manage to offer middle of the road performance under Doom 3, although we do see the K8 based Sempron 3100+ wedged in between the Prescott 3.2 and Prescott 3.0GHz CPUs.

Finally at the bottom we have the Athlon XPs as well as the lonely Celeron D, which is barely saved from a disappointing last place showing.

The standings remain the same at 1280x1024 as you can see below:

Celeron D vs. Sempron Final Words
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  • Anemone - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    I suggest you look at the low and average framerates for the EE @ 1600x1200. From memory I recall on HardOCP was that the AMD chips had a higher top end and a lower low end, making the average, whereas the P4's had high and low ends not so far away from their average.

    AMD64's fly, but at higher res's 1280 up to 1600, the difference is a few fps, and P4's seem to not fly as fast, but also not bottom out as bad in the super heavy scenes.

    While I'm torn on the issue of which platform to go to, that is something I noticed.
    Reply
  • DigitalDivine - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    Shinei, hardocp did not use apples to apples comparisons. Reply
  • dmxlite - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    "When tested at 1600 and real gameplay, Athlon 64 falls like a brick, as shown in the "Official Doom 3 hardware guide" at HardOCP."

    Yes, that must be the reason why in the conclusion they say "AMD came out ahead in DOOM 3 performance with the strongest CPU in our tests, the Athlon 64 FX-53 processor," and why they chose the stock FX to be in their [H]ard|OCP Ultimate DOOM 3 System and an overclocked A64 3000+ to be in their [H]ard|OCP Ultimate Enthusiast DOOM 3 System.
    Reply
  • nlr_2000 - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    It's called an on die memory controller ;) Reply
  • Staples - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Interesting how P4s were always top dog in Q3 but now with D3, it is the opposite. Reply
  • Shinei - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    I don't know about you, T8000, but I can't complain about my (underclocked) 64MB Ti4200 and 3200+ XP combination. It drags in some areas (9fps as a low, 60 as a high, average gameplay flow is around 20; settings are 10x7 medium quality), but it's definitely playable in singleplayer, with very little mouse lag.
    So, for my Athlon XP to be performing fairly well with 2-year-old, underclocked hardware, I'm willing to say that HOCP is probably making things retarded for AMD by changing settings or something. I find it very hard to believe that the vastly superior Athlon 64s (compared to my Athlon XP) would falter so heavily in gameplay when my own processor does not.
    Reply
  • T8000 - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    I think you cannot say a CPU is better because it produces more frames in situations where it is hardly stressed, like lower resolutions and timedemos. Furthermore, I think most people want to play at an acceptable framerate with as much detail as possible, so testing a GF6800U only at 1280 and without playing the game, is not realistic.

    When tested at 1600 and real gameplay, Athlon 64 falls like a brick, as shown in the "Official Doom 3 hardware guide" at HardOCP. Only the overclocked Athlon FX could do slightly more then the P4EE at stock settings.
    Reply
  • flexy - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    >>>
    Whether the top-performing FX53 is worth the $811 price is up to you,
    >>>

    The answer is of course: NO

    Neither is the PIV EE worth its price :)
    Reply
  • flexy - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    the most important info for me is that it's actually nonsense to wait for socket 939...or useless to spend more money for 1mb cache.

    So...socket 754 is even better/faster and cheaper. And the 512kb cache are plenty too for the A64.

    This is very helpful info in regards to upgrading my system soon :)
    Reply
  • Pumpkinierre - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Nice article Anand- strange set of results. I'd like to see the benchmark for a 2.4c at 3200MHz with same memory latency settings. If it is memory latency as the a64 results suggest then the Prescott should be lower or even beaten by N'wood. If it is L1 cache size then the EE result should be lower.
    Reply

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