The Athlon 64 processors of all the modifications have no rivals in Halo. The Pentium 4 and its Extreme Edition cannot reach their level of performance. As for the standings inside the Athlon 64 team, it is all quite predictable. The Athlon 64 3500+ with a dual-channel memory controller and 512KB L2 cache is faster than the Athlon 64 3400+ with a single-channel memory controller and 1MB cache. The Athlon 64 3800+ outruns the Athlon FX-53 with a twice larger L2 cache (1MB), but a less fast memory subsystem.
The AMD team is victorious in Far Cry. Note a curious fact: the Socket 939 processors with their most efficient memory controller provide a substantial fps rate gain in this game.
Overall, the Athlon 64 processors look preferable to Intel’s CPUs in gaming applications. This is especially true about the new Socket 939 CPUs whose improved memory subsystem brings about a nice performance gain in games. By the results of the gaming tests, we may say that the Athlon 64 3500+ and the Athlon 64 3800+ are true to their ratings. For example, the Athlon 64 3500+ beat the Athlon 64 3400+ in all the tests, although the latter has the same clock rate and a larger cache!
Office and digital content-creation applications
Traditionally, this section of our review is dedicated to the results of the Winstone tests.
The situation is practically the same in both test suites of the Winstone family. The Athlon 64 processors take the lead, followed by top-end Pentium 4 models. Note, however, that the L2 cache size is most important in this test: we see the new Athlon 64 3500+ losing to the Athlon 64 3400+, while the Athlon 64 3800+ is slower than the Socket 940 Athlon 64 FX-53.