The old 3DMark2001 SE benchmark is still very popular. However, today it is much more suitable for CPU testing rather than for graphics cards testing. You remember that the top positions in this test have always been occupied by Athlon 64 CPUs. But now the situation has changed. The use of larger L2 cache in the new Pentium 4 processors on Prescott 2M core allowed these processors to improve their results in this test, which helped Pentium 4 660 to outperform Athlon 64 3500+, and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz to catch up with Athlon 64 3800+. Of course, we can’t really call these results Intel’s indisputable success, but they undoubtedly indicate that in gaming applications larger L2 cache of the Prescott 2M based CPUs will have a highly positive effect on the CPU performance.
The results obtained in the newest FutureMark 3DMark05 package also show that larger L2 cache memory is going to be efficient for gaming 3D graphics. However, the CPU performance index from this benchmark doesn’t allow Pentium 4 660 outpace Pentium 4 570 working at 200MHz higher core clock. Anyway, it doesn’t prevent Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz from winning the first place, as it manages to defeat even AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 here.