Quake 2 is truly the best case scenario when it comes to 3DNow! implementation in a game. AMD spent months working on the driver for Quake 2, and the results of their efforts are outstanding. The K6-3 is a solid gaming performer, even outrunning the Intel processors in the CPU intensive crusher.dm2 test, and leading the pack in both benchmark runs. Turning off the precious 3DNow! compatibility causes those frame rates to drop around 20 fps illustrating the dire need for 3DNow! support in games in order for the K6-2 & K6-3 to survive. Let’s see how the picture changes if we remove the crutches the Voodoo2 card provides for the benchmarks…
Without the 3Dfx card to rely on, the picture doesn’t change at all. The K6-3 is still strong in spite of the lack of any hardware accelerators to take the load off of the processor itself.
But all of this Quake 2 talk is quite idealistic since the implementation of 3DNow! in Quake 2 is very unrealistic compared to most other games, let’s see how things look through the fog in Unreal, one of the most taxing games for an entire system (one of the reasons why it wasn’t a big seller).
The benefits of the K6-3’s L2 cache are seen once again with the performance of the K6-3 under the L2 cache-happy Unreal benchmark.
Windows NT Performance
Under Windows NT, the K6-3 still remains dominant, even in comparison to Intels Pentium II, which is definitely a great accomplishment. Even at 350MHz, the K6-3s L2 & L3 cache performance outshines the Pentium II 400, and at 400MHz, the Pentium II 450 is closely trailing AMD and the K6-3 lead the pack with no competition.