Battle 3: Celeron D vs. Sempron

AMD just recently introduced their new low-end branded CPU: Sempron, and as we've already seen it does a wonderful job of outperforming Intel's Celeron D, however the margin of improvement is far less than what we're used to seeing thanks to a much improved Celeron D. How does the Sempron fare under Doom 3? Let's find out:

Remember that there are two flavors of Sempron, a K7 and a K8 version. The K7 version performs just like an Athlon XP since it's basically a Thoroughbred core with its 256KB L2 cache. The biggest performance limiter to the K7 based Sempron 2800+ is that it has no on-die memory controller, bringing its performance down pretty far.

But the K8 based Sempron 3100+ does some serious damage, outperforming the Celeron D 335 by an incredible 53%. For a budget Doom 3 system, you will want to steer far away from a Celeron D and towards the Sempron. As we've seen before, the cache size dependency of Doom 3 on the Pentium 4 is significant and even though the Celeron D and the Sempron both only have a 256KB L2 cache, the Sempron's on-die memory controller helps reduce the impact of such a small cache on Doom 3 performance.

The winner here is Sempron.

AMD vs. AMD AMD vs. Intel
POST A COMMENT

59 Comments

View All Comments

  • thatsright - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Great article, but just one quibble. Is it just me, or does it sound like AMD paid AnandTech for the last sentence of the article: "In the end, the winner of the final battle is clear: the AMD Athlon 64 is the processor for Doom 3"

    It sounds like a perfect quote from the AMD marketing dept! LOL
    Reply
  • DAPUNISHER - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Good stuff! That was the most entertaining set of benchies I've seen in awhile. D3 is evidently turning out to be a better benching tool than game =) Reply
  • kherman - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Dear anandtech,

    Please do a similar benchmarking wtih system memmorry.

    Sincerely,
    me
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    #9, Carmack has stated that Doom 3 does not have SMP support. Reply
  • CrimsonDeath - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    How about pumped up XP-M's? I got one running at 2700Mhz, that would make it better than most cpu's out there.
    Overclock till it burns, then overclock more!
    Reply
  • punko - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Guess my XP 1800+ ain't gonna cut it . . .

    Reply
  • kherman - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Well, my 2800+ is staying in my box! Reply
  • kherman - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    In the days of GPU shootouts, this article is an EXCELENT idea! Good work! Still have to read it though.

    It's funny to, because I'm contemplating a move to 1 gig of memmory.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Just to clarify before the comments start, there are TWO 3400+ Athlon 64 as you will see in checking at New Egg for instance. The NEW 3400+ is Socket 754, runs at 2.4GHz and has 512k cache. The original 3400+ is still available and is Socket 754, runs at 2.2GHz, and has 1MB cache. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - link

    Please keep in mind that the small Athlon 64 increases in Dual-Channel and Cache-size are cumulative. While it's true that Dual-Channel only adds about 3% to A64 performance and 1MB cache only adds about 5%, the combination adds 8 to 10% improved performance. The FX53 is the ONLY chip that combines BOTH 1MB cache and Dual-Channel memory and is 8 to 10% faster than a comparable chip using Single-Channel (Socket 754) and 512MB cache.

    The Dual-Channel 1MB FX53 should be about 8% to 10% faster than the latest Newcastle SC 512K 3400+ even though both run run at 2.4Ghz. Another interesting point is that since Cache mattered more in Doom3 than Dual-Channel, a 3700+ (SC, 1MB cache) might actually be faster in Doom3 than a 3800+ (DC, 512MB). This was certainly true in Anand's tests of the 3400+ (SC, 1MB0, which was faster than the 3500+ (DC, 512MB).

    Whether the top-performing FX53 is worth the $811 price is up to you, but it is still a bargain in Doom3 compared to the 3.4EE that is 18% slower and still sells for $1000.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now