Far Cry AMD64 Edition - A First Look at 64-bit Gamingby Anand Lal Shimpi on May 10, 2005 4:51 AM EST
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64-bit Far Cry PerformanceFor the most part, 32-bit games run at the same speed or slightly slower under x64 Edition compared to 32-bit Windows XP Professional. And from what we've seen with titles that have native 64-bit binaries (e.g. Chronicles of Riddick), there aren't any real performance gains to be had there either. In order to find out if Far Cry was any different, we looked at two separate platforms: an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and an Intel Pentium D 3.2GHz. All benchmarks were conducted with an ATI Radeon X850 XT and at 1024x768 with Very High quality settings enabled.
We compared performance under 32-bit Windows XP, as well as x64 Edition, while running both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Far Cry under the latter. We used our standard Far Cry demo that we've used in all other reviews, and in order to isolate the performance differences from the extra content, we only looked at performance changes with the first 64-bit patch installed - not the Exclusive Content Update.
First, we see that the difference between running the 32-bit binary in XP Professional and x64 Edition is basically nothing. Next, there's a modest performance gain seen by the Athlon 64 X2 when using the 64-bit binary - we see a boost of 4%. Note that this sort of a performance improvement isn't noticeable at all to the end user, but there is a numerical advantage.
Interestingly enough, Intel actually does a little better - showing a 6.5% increase in performance. It's tough to say exactly why Intel gets more of a performance boost here, other than assuming that for whatever reason, Intel is facing more register pressure in our particular benchmark.
We're just happy that there is any sort of performance improvement at all - but to those looking for major increases in performance by moving to 64-bits, it's less and less likely to happen.
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Son of a N00b - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkgood article anand, i loved your quick and to the point style on this one. Any qestion i had you just cleared up.
keep it up, thats why I come here.
If i have more questions then i read more reviews, that simple
Backslider - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - link#9 I was refering to Far Cry not AMD.
Their special content idea blows goats, it pisses me off royal. Their game sucks anyway, so no real loss here.
robg1701 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkAnand,
1. Like adding a faster cpu increasing performance in tasks that werent cpu bound ? Like the A64 getting higher numbers than a GPU bound P4 with the same card at the same settings ? Odd as it seems i dont think it can be so easily ruled out.
2. Apples to oranges it may be, but thats exactly what the existance of 64bit far cry represents just now, and is exactly how i think anyone bothering to download the patches will play it, so in bothering to do an article on it i think it ghas to be examined. Now that other articles are online, so far your the only site ive seen not do this.
3. I didnt imply they were SM3 specific, but its a difference between the 6800 and X850, and i think re-examining their relative performance is required given we now also have a new OS, new drivers, and new game code.
But no matter, other sites have filled the void and benchmarked what I and many others think is the sensible comparison - waht people will actually be looking for when they download a gigabyte of updates.
jballs - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - link[H]ard OCP reports that there are minimal diffrences in frame rates (some higher some lower) when the patch AND the additional content are applied (read conclusions). So, increased quality with no much impact on performance is always good thing. The thing that is still up in the air is what is the diffrence between 64 and 32bit processors with that additional content enabled because the game won't let you install on anything else. For all we know the performance would be the same.
nserra - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - link#33 Finaly some light!!!!!
PottyWithElmo - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkanandtech. sorry. (refer to 31)
Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linknserra
Sorry I should have been more specific - when I refer to the 64-bit version of Far Cry I am talking about both the binary patch and the content update (as both require a 64-bit OS and CPU to run).
All of the benchmarks were done with only the first patch installed, which doesn't improve any of the features I mentioned in the image quality section.
All of the screenshots were taken with both patches installed.
Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkdougSF30
1) We don't test at 640x480 in our CPU shootouts, but I should note that the X850 XT happens to be CPU bound at 1024x768 and below.
2) The impact of dual core on the comparison doesn't really change anything; performance would scale the same on single core CPUs.
3) The reason for mentioning that the new content doesn't use more than 2GB of memory is because all of the enhancements to the game have nothing to do with a 64-bit CPU; you could just as easily implement any of these features on a 32-bit machine and have the same end result.
With reference to what the patch we tested with enables, it looks like the first patch does not change any of the visual options which is why I felt comfortable making that comparison. All of the level changes are definitely made with the second patch.
As far as the performance with the second patch applied; our default demo uses the mp_airstrip level which showed no performance difference with or without the extra content. At higher resolutions I saw some frame rate drops in certain levels but at more CPU bound resolutions there was basically no difference.
1) That analysis would imply that we are GPU bound at 1024x768 in our test - which is not true.
2) We didn't include performance numbers with the enhanced content applied simply because it wouldn't be an apples to apples comparison. The other issue with including those numbers is that the performance impact of the additional content really varies from one level to the next, as does the visual impact of the content.
3) None of our information on the patches lead us to believe that any of the features were shader model 3.0 specific.
PottyWithElmo - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkI believe FarCry 64bit runs more content (view distance, extra entities like bugs and birds, more complex textures) at a same or better framerate than 32bit, correct? How is this not a decent improvement over 32bit again? If, in 32bit, I turn on exra birds and bugs and increase the view distance (configure it in the game.cfg file of FCry), my framerate and performance drops significantly. This article should be torn up, new benches performed, and then rewritten. It makes no sense. It reads like its someone whose got a grudge with AMD, instead of looking at a FREE upgrade in farcry that adds extra content at a slightly better framerate! Just stick to the facts Annantech!
nserra - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkI already dont understand a cheat!
Anand Lal Shimpi clear this up!
The bench was made with no extra content but the pictures are taken with the extra content or not?
"The differences in the Pier level are numerous. First, the improvement to draw distance is very noticeable:"
"You can see additional detail in the rock textures:"
OR I CAN READ MR MLITTL3 #14 OR ANAND LAL SHIMPI CANT WRITE!!!!
"And finally, the water looks a lot better in the 64-bit version:"
then must be repleaced with
"And finally, the water looks a lot better with the AMD64 Exclusive Content Update:"