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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Cygni - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkThe 64bit hardware DID make a difference in how the game was run. Look at the first chart. Not only was the game a little bit faster in 64/64... but the detail was increased a pretty hefty ammount. It wasnt some gimmick to make 64bit computing LOOK good by giving an exclusive and not delivering... 64bit computing actually HAD an impact, on both image quality and speed. Not bad.
jediknight - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - link#26:
That's like asking why would more cache, or more RAM increase performance..
ncage - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkWhat people need to understand is these games were most likely NOT optimized for 64 bit. Yes the source code was compiled with a 64 bit compiler but probably not optimized. Those of us who are programmers know that if you want optimal speed then you want to use 32 bit numbers (integers, Floating point, ect) (exactly the size that can fit in a register).With 64 bit processors that changes of course. Even Tim Sweeny (probably spelled his name wrong) said he had to get around the limit of 32 bit registers. Now if we took UT2004 and just compiled it with a 64 bit compiler would it help that much? Umm, maybe a little. Now if Tim wouldn't had to get around the limitation of 32 bit registers and had 64 bit integers and floating point thats where we would have seen the difference. My point is that when people start designing their programs for 64 bit processors is when you will see the big difference. Just because they compile something with a 64 bit compiler doesn't mean its going to improve things that much.
msva124 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkWhy would having more registers increase performance?
mlittl3 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkFor all you whiners out there asking for more detail, go to
for a more indepth review. They list all the changes in the patch, tons of screenshots and show no difference between 32 and 64 bit.
dougSF30 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkYeah, there's also the silly complaining about not needing more than 2GB for the new content. 64b is about more than addressible memory, and any speed improvement has virtually nothing to do with larger memory, but rather, the increased number of registers, and operations on 64-bit data. So why go on about the memory footprint of the new content?
xTYBALTx - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkThis article leaves me with more questions than answers.
Bonesdad - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkcool!! More birds and insects!!!...
robg1701 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkIm not too sure about this review to be honest.
First up, the comment regarding intel benfiting more than AMD, could it not just be that with the AMD scores being higher in the first place tehre is less room in the radeons performance capability for improvement ? Need more benchies to establish the reason i say..
Next up, why no benches of the 64bit enhanced mode ? We have no way of knowing from this article if the enhanced 64bit content slows it down or not, which is quite ridiculous given thats one of if not the main reason for bothering to download the 64 bit patch.
Finally, nvidia cards have historically been a bit slower in Far Cry in particular, but nvidias 64bit drivers have been doing the rounds for a lot longer sp perhaps they are more mature and can reap more benefit, wouldnt it be nice to benchmark an 6800 series card for those users who dont have an X850? Adding to this point, the 6800s having PS 3.0 gives them a different featureset to the X850 under Far Cry, does that make any difference here ?
All in all, a bit of a rushed article I felt, if your going to bother doing smaller stuff like this at least do it a bit more whole heartedly ?
dougSF30 - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - linkThat merely begs the question.
What changes are made in the "binary" patch, and what changes are made in the "exclusive content update" patch.
Draw distance is hardly "exclusive content", so it isn't clear from the name of each patch.
Which patch causes it to be changed?