Cache Size Impact on Performance

As we continue to look at the Athlon 64 platform with respect to Half Life 2 performance it's now time to find out how much benefit the 1MB L2 Athlon 64s gain over the 512KB L2 parts. 

Given that we've already shown Half Life 2 to be sensitive to both memory bandwidth and latency on the platform, we wouldn't be too surprised to see some pretty big differences between 512KB and 1MB L2 Athlon 64 processors.

at_canals_08
at_coast_05
at_coast_12
at_prison_05
at_c17_12
1MB L2
116.69
134.45
121.67
118.51
80.39
512KB L2
111.56
126.2
117.35
115.75
74.14

With a performance advantage as large as 8%, the 1MB Athlon 64s (and Athlon 64 FXs)  do surprisingly well under Half Life 2 when compared to their normally competitive 512KB counterparts.  While 8% alone isn't much, combine that with the advantage of a 128-bit DDR memory bus and the Socket-939 Athlon 64 platform can offer a reasonably high performance improvement over even the Socket-754 solutions. 

SSE/SSE2 Impact on Performance

Just for kicks we turned off the Athlon 64's SSE/SSE2 instruction set support to see if that impacted performance in any way:

at_canals_08
at_coast_05
at_coast_12
at_prison_05
at_c17_12
SSE/SSE2 Enabled
116.12
140.43
123.37
113.69
83.15
SSE/SSE2 Disabled
117.64
140.94
125.85
116.55
82.56

Despite minor variations in performance, it doesn't look like SSE/SSE2 is doing much for the Athlon 64 under Half Life 2.  We just had to fulfill our curiosities. 

Memory Latency Impact on Performance High End Graphics Card CPU Scaling
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  • drinkmorejava - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    When they test the Athlon 64 3400+, is it the 1meg clawhammer or the 512k newcastle. In comparisons with my friend who has a lousy newcastle with dual channel, he is always thoroughly beaten by my clawhammer. Reply
  • drinkmorejava - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Zebo - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I wish y'all would do an expo of A64's incredible "feels faster" syndrome to to it's 1/3rd mem latency of all other platforms.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #44
    Where can you buy it? Especially when MSI's website makes no mention of this.
    Reply
  • Dranzerk - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #43

    Yes that is feature feature. MSI offers it, never saw it reviewed though.
    Reply
  • miketheidiot - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #40, 42, their was talk a while back about a PCIe to agp adaptor. Not sure what happened with it though. Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #39
    The MSI board has no such feature. It would require a different MCP to get AGP to work or using one of the PCI slots to do it (which wouldn't be AGP).
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #20
    I have some OCZ CAS3 DDR400 ram in my system. 7 months ago it was considered premium ram (it's EB3500).
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #39 - WTF are you talking about? nForce 4 is only PCIe. What page are you looking at? I went through MSI's site and nothing on the Neo4 page says anything about AGP. There is no AGP slot on the mobo either. If you clcik on 'Special Features' that is for the special features of all of MSI's products. Reply
  • Dranzerk - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    18 - Posted on Jan 26, 2005 at 12:35 PM by Phantronius said:
    "NF4 will not be supporting AGP bud, sorry, its PCI-E from here on out."

    It does with a addon card..
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Pr...

    MSI K8N neo4 Platnium NF4
    GO to manufactor website listed on speical features:
    Special Features:
    ATX Form Factor
    Supports Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP) Add-On Card

    AGP on a NF4 tata!

    :D
    Reply

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