Test 4: Memory for Doom 3
The last small test will be about the memory amount you may want to have to play Doom 3 comfortably. More precisely, we will try to see the difference between 512MB and 1GB of memory. Is the recommendation to use 1GB a well-grounded one? We performed the test on the i975P-based system with a Pentium 4 3.4GHz processor (Northwood core). There’s no demand for a “real-game” test in this case, so we only ran our own demo record:
As you see, 512MB of system memory is enough for all the quality settings, except the maximum ones. The amount of textures the game uses in this mode exceeds 512MB and the game honestly warns you about that as you try to enable this mode. Otherwise, half a gigabyte is enough for a comfortable play.
So we can draw two points from our today’s tests. First, the standard test method that measures the average fps rate when playing a demo cannot be used for a correct comparison of CPU performance in Doom 3. More precise results can be achieved in real gaming environment only. Second, our tests don’t reveal a clear performance leader among the topmost models of the Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 series. It would be imprudent to claim that a particular CPU architecture suits better for playing Doom 3: the Athlon 64 FX-53 is about as fast as the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and the Athlon 64 3800+ equals the Pentium 4 560. We could continue drawing parallels longer, though.
The older Athlon XP CPU family cannot compete with the new Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 models anymore. In real tests we encountered situations when the fps rate got below the comfortable value of 30 with Athlon XPs. By the way, the same can be seen with Athlon 64 3000+ and 3200+ CPUs. That’s why we recommend you to use Pentium 4 models with frequencies from 3GHz up and Athlon 64 models with ratings from 3200+ up, if you want to be absolutely warranted against any accidental slowdowns.