Intel Core 2 Duo processors demonstrate pretty impressive performance in older but still popular single-threaded synthetic benchmarks. Here we should say that the shared L2 cache allows Core based processors to use the entire L2 cache memory in single-threaded applications, while Athlon 64 X2 and Pentium D processors can only have a half of it at their disposal.
The new 3DMark06 benchmark does support multi-threading, however, the previous generation CPUs cannot stand up to Core microarchitecture based solutions here, either. Core 2 Extreme X6800 appears 5.4% and 7% faster than Athlon 64 FX-62 and Pentium Extreme Edition 965 respectively. Note, however, that the relatively small performance difference between the two is mostly determined by the graphics subsystem that affects the overall result in this test. If we look at the CPU performance index here, the picture will be totally different.
I would like to stress that Athlon 64 FX-62 performs quite nicely here compared with the results of the other benchmarks. This processor working at 2.8GHz is slightly faster than Core 2 Duo E6600 working at 2.4GHz. However, it cannot compete with the top-of-the-line Core 2 Extreme X6800 that turns out almost 20% faster.
ScienceMark 2.0 makes the best out of AMD K8 microarchitecture advantages thanks to the active FPU usage. We have already pointed this out in our previous reviews. As a result, AMD processors look quite competitive in this test and are falling just a little bit behind Core 2 Duo models from the same price range. As for the performance of NetBurst based processors, they are beyond all criticism in ScienceMark 2.0, which you can clearly see from the diagram.