Intel Pentium 4 1.4GHz & 1.5GHzby Anand Lal Shimpi on November 20, 2000 12:54 AM EST
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Starting out with Quake III Arena we see that the Pentium 4 immediately jumps to the top of the performance charts. Here we have a case where Quake III Arena is benefiting greatly from the Pentium 4's 400MHz FSB. We noticed early on that Quake III Arena is very sensitive to memory and FSB performance. We can rule out memory performance being a major contributor to the Pentium 4's performance advantage here since the Pentium III 1GHz on the i840, with a similar memory subsystem, is unable to step ahead of the competition.
A major factor for the Pentium 4's performance will be the 400MHz bus, especially as games increase in complexity and the amount of data being sent to and from the CPU increases.
At 1024 x 768 x 32, once again, we're limited by the memory bandwidth of our test GeForce2 GTS. This illustrates both the need for a more efficient memory subsystem when it comes to today's graphics cards, and it also illustrates that you don't need to have a 1.5GHz processor to run at these high resolutions, a 500 - 600MHz processor will do the job almost as well. This doesn't hold true for all games, especially when dealing with more CPU intensive games like flight simulators, however for first person shooters like Quake III Arena you've got to face the facts.