CPU test from Aquamark3 test set puts Athlon 64 FX-51 into a very awkward situation. Now it falls 7.3% behind Pentium 4 3.2GHz, while the gap between it and the new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition grows up to 11.2%. I should admit that it is a very alarming sign for the entire Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX family. The thing is that Hyper-Threading support will little by little start appearing in new games. In particular, the major hits of this year will be Half-Life 2 and Doom III, which are claimed to support Hyper-Threading.
Pentium 4 processors, which have been the irreplaceable leaders in Quake3 from the very first day, now are completely defeated by Athlon 64 FX-51. Due to faster memory subsystem, Athlon 64 FX-51 outperforms Pentium 4 3.2GHz by 5.6%. However, the additional 2MB of L3 cache by the new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor also have a positive effect on its performance thus improving its results by the good 13.3%. So, in the long run, Athlon 64 FX-51 is only the second fastest after the new Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz.
However, we have recently found out that low performance of AMD processors in Quake3 is determined by the low optimization quality of this gaming engine for Athlon XP and Athlon 64 processor families. Not so long ago we managed to download specially optimized for AMD’s architecture Quake3 dll-files (download them here). Of course, we were very much interested to find out how greatly will the use of optimized code improve the performance of AMD CPUs.
Wow, do you notice these drastic changes? Now it’s Athlon 64 FX-51 that outperforms not only the regular Pentium 4, but also the new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. This way, all Quake3 lovers using Athlon XP, Athlon 64 or Athlon 64 FX should definitely take advantage of the optimized dll.
In Unreal Tournament 2003 the leadership as always belongs to AMD processors. It looks as if Epic, unlike id Software, got really concerned about the optimization of its code for AMD processors architecture. As a result, Athlon 64 FX-51 is 31.5% faster than Pentium 4 3.2GHz and 22.9% faster than Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz. By the way, Epic’s anxious attitude to AMD may finally end up in the fact that the upcoming Unreal Tournament 2004 will be the first game optimized for x86-64 architecture.