AMD Athlon 64 4000+ and FX-55 Review
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Test System Setup
- AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 4000+, and
- MSI K8N Neo2 motherboard (nForce
- 1 GB (2 x 512 MB) Corsair XMS PC3200
- VisionTek 9800 Pro 128 MB (Catalyst
- Adaptec 19160 SCSI controller
- 36 GB Seagate Cheetah 15,000 RPM
- Windows XP Professional - Service
- DirectX 9.0c
The benchmark suite used to test the
Athlon 64 3800+, 4000+, and FX-55 is listed here.
All games are configured for 32-bit color and trilinear texture
filtering as the baseline default. Anti-aliasing and anisotropic
texture filtering are, of course, disabled throughout all
tests. Windows XP is also configured to have Automatic Update,
System Restore, and all unnecessary startup services disabled.
Fraps v2.3.2 was used to record performance scores unless
otherwise noted. However, because a faster AGP graphics board
was not available for use in the test system, in-game options
for each title were changed to lower, less demanding graphics
settings to keep the 9800 Pro from becoming a performance
bottleneck and thus preventing the tested processors from
differentiating themselves. Once PCI Express chipsets for
AMD systems become available here in the near future, this
will no longer be an issue since SimHQs hardware
lab has several high-end PCIe graphics boards available
Scores for the Athlon 64 3800+ in
this review are not comparable to those from SimHQs
of the CPU because, as mentioned above, testing was conducted
with lower in-game settings, updated Catalyst drivers from
ATI were used, and a different motherboard, MSIs K8N
Neo2, which is based on NVIDIAs nForce 3 Ultra chipset,
was installed in the test system; the 3800+ reviews
test system used ASUS A8V Deluxe mainboard, based on
VIAs K8T800 Pro chipset.
4 benchmarking demo was run with texture compression
and hardware shaders enabled and sound disabled.
A piece of software that has traditionally
scaled very closely with CPU speed, the C4 demo displays a
consistent performance increase for each resolution and processor.
In fact, the FX-55 is the first CPU to break the 80+ frame
rate barrier in SimHQs testing.
On: Modern Air Combat was tested using the first three
minutes of the MiG-29 Intercept demo. The in-game graphics
default setting of low was applied in the hopes of keeping
the 9800 Pro card from becoming a performance choke-point
in the test system.
Without a doubt the graphics card
is refusing to allow LOMAC to scale with processor changes.
Next is Microsofts
Flight Simulator 2004, the ruling king of civilian
aviation simulation. Testing consisted again of SimHQs
dusk flight over the city of Hong Kong, with an external camera
view positioned behind the aircraft. The games display
settings were placed at medium low and all box options were
Unfortunately, in the effort to prevent
the slower graphics card from bottlenecking the test systems,
FS 2004 appears to have capped itself at 100 fps. The in-game
frame rate option was set to Unlimited and the display's refresh
rate was not set at 100 Hz. Further experimentation with in-game
graphics settings, such as placing each sub-section at high,
still saw the frame rate pegged at 100; in fact, not until
the hardware options were placed at near-maximum settings
did the frame rate begin to drop.
SimHQ will continue experimenting
with FS 2004 in an effort to find a combination of settings
that allow the simulation to scale with system changes.
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