The Test

For our test setup, the only thing that's really changed is our use of the AMD Athlon 4600+ in the system. In order to compare dual core and single core numbers, we setup a multiboot by adding another option to our boot.ini file. Microsoft provides quite a few convenient boot options, including the ability to specify exactly which kernel and HAL to load. We opted to use the easier /ONECPU option which forces multiprocessor systems to ignore all but a single processor. This should give us essentially the same result as testing a 3800+ single core when used on our 4600+ system (2.4GHz with 512kb cache).

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (2.4GHz/512kb)
Motherboard: ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16
Chipset Drivers: nForce4 6.82
Memory: 2x 512MB OCZ PC3500 DDR 2-2-2-7
Video Card: ATI Radeon X1800 XL
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 5.11 (WHQL)
ATI Catalyst 5.12 (Beta)
Desktop Resolution: 1280x960 - 32-bit @ 85Hz
OS: Windows XP Professional SP2
Power Supply: OCZ PowerStream 600W PSU

ATI singled out Battlefield 2 and FarCry as games that got the best boost from the driver, so we absolutely wanted to include those in our first look at this new driver. To try to get a balanced view, we also included the two other games: Day of Defeat Source and Quake 4. As the driver gets nearer to release we will work on looking at more cards, more games, and more settings, but hopefully this quick test will answer the most pressing questions.

Index Performance Comparison: Cat 5.11 vs. Cat 5.12


View All Comments

  • wien - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - link

    Way to talk for everyone... I care, so there. Reply
  • Jep4444 - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - link

    not like games these days are CPU bottlenecked, thats why we really only see improvements at 800x600, nVidia doesn't gain much in the higher resolutions either Reply
  • porkster - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    Obviously you don't multitask? Like do you run a bittorrent client downlaoding off ADSL2 whilst playing a game, or run a IIS server in the background, or run other apps?

    The days are gone of having a single task able computer as most users want multitasking due to their better understand and use of their machines.
  • keitaro - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - link

    That's odd. I thought they're going to use either the X2 4800, the 4400, or the 3800 CPU for the test... I'm a little surprised that they'd go for the 4600 to benchmark this. Reply
  • johnsonx - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - link

    what difference does it make? it's a dual-core cpu. for this sort of test, it makes no difference whether a 4600 is most popular to buy or not (which I agree it isn't).
  • Shimmishim - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - link

    first post!

    looks promising for ATI.

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