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Gaming Performance

Nothing new appears in Futuremark 3DMark06 diagrams. Quad-core Intel processors, including Core 2 Quad Q6600 working at 2.4GHz clock frequency, turned out faster than the Quad FX platform with two 3GHz Athlon 64 FX-74 processors.

The results of the processor test are better. However, the high-performance AMD platform can only beat Core 2 Quad Q6600 at the most, and is still behind the quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700.

The situation in real games is again quite sad. Although AMD positions this platform as a high-end solution for gaming enthusiasts, its performance is lower than that of a system built around a single Socket AM2 Athlon 64 FX-62. This result is once again explained by the high latency of the memory subsystem supporting NUMA technology, even though contemporary games do not need to process four computational threads simultaneously. So, this is a great example that the effect of server technologies transferred into the desktop segment is not always positive.

However, I have to stress that Quad FX may become very fit for some games in the near future. However, in this case we will certainly need the games that can efficiently load all four cores of the system simultaneously. At this time there are no applications like that in the market. However, there is hope: AMD’s press presentation suggests that in 2007 there should be more than 20 gaming titles already.

Well, looks like it doesn’t make much sense to continue investigating the gaming performance of the AMD Quad FX platform at this time. Let’s just take a look at the performance of this platform in multi-threaded strategy games, like computer chess, for instance:

The situation here is a way better than what we have seen before in 3D shooters. Dual-socket Quad FX platform ensures 90% performance improvement compared with the single Athlon 64 FX-62 (for processors running at the same clock speeds). No wonder: chess algorithms do not require a lot of RAM, but they can be split into parallel threads very easily. However, Intel’s quad-core processors on Core micro-architecture outperform Quad FX in this case.

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