AMD's Athlon XP 1900+ (1.6GHz): Still #1by Anand Lal Shimpi on November 5, 2001 12:40 AM EST
- Posted in
3D Gaming Performance
Here's another benchmark in which the introduction of the 1900+ tilted the scales ever-so-slightly in AMD's favor. Quake III Arena has historically been a tremendous showcase of the performance of Intel's Pentium 4, specifically because of its highly advanced hardware data prefetch logic. With the addition of similar capabilities to the Athlon XP core, AMD was able to improve their performance across the board here by around 5%. Couple that with higher clock speeds and we now have a CPU that is just as competitive under Quake III as it is under other environments.
When we introduced our Wolfenstein MP Test benchmarks in the GeForce3 Titanium Review, we mentioned that the first benchmark (atdemo6) was clearly CPU bound as it would not vary with video card performance much at all. Judging by the above performance chart, our hypothesis held true as the performance of these CPUs varies from 40fps all the way up to 56 fps. It is important to note that atdemo6 is more of an open air benchmark with many explosions thus putting a great deal of stress on the CPU. You can consider this an average of the worst case scenario performance of your system.
In spite of the highly competitive performance the Pentium 4 showed us under Quake III Arena, the picture changes considerably under the Return to Castle Wolfenstein MP Test. The reason this is so interesting is because both RTCW and Quake III Arena are based off of the same engine. The fact that they share the same engine base would make the way 3D cards perform on the two platforms similar, but it obviously has little bearing on CPU performance. The more demanding nature of RTCW seems to favor the Athlon XP over the Pentium 4 which diminishes Intel's argument that the way Quake III Arena was written lead to astounding performance in that game.
Our second RTCW benchmark is much less CPU bound and is governed much more by the performance of the GeForce3 that's in our test bed. Regardless, the performance standings do not change much and it's clear that if you're a fan of this (and many other FPSes) then the Athlon XP is for you.
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