The 3DMark 2003 benchmark has seen its fair share of controversy, but as long as the mainstream gaming community is using it, we'll present comparison scores. It does offer a view at potential DirectX 9 gaming performance, as well as offering a specific CPU Test that was lacking in the 2001SE version. This benchmark was performed at the standard 1024x768 resolution, using the default range of tests.
The 3DMark 2003 overall scores show another very tight race, but in this case, the Athlon XP 3200+ finishes just a hair behind the Pentium 4-3.06 GHz platforms, and a bit further back of the Pentium 4-3.0C.
Things are a bit better in the CPU portion of 3DMark 2003, where the Athlon XP 3200+ shows some legs and finishes in second, right behind the Pentium 4-3.0C. Once again, the improved 400 MHz FSB/DDR specifications show a real advantage compared to the standard Athlon XP 3000+ and 2700.
Quake 3: Arena is our primary gaming benchmark here at SE and its design really shows off some of the advantages of the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP. Quake 3 is both floating-point intensive and has support for SIMD optimizations (MMX, 3DNow! and SSE), making it a great fit for processor testing. It also happens to be an extremely popular game and Quake 3 performance is often used as the barometer for many CPU and 3D video card purchases.
Quake 3 testing is performed using High Quality detail and a 1024x768 resolution, using release 1.30, along with the standard "demo Four".
Quake 3 is usually the area where the Pentium 4 really struts its stuff, and while this is still true, the Athlon XP 3200+ does move up the scale and even slides past the Pentium 4-3.06 GHz/E7205 platform. This is a significant advancement for AMD, as Quake 3 scales quite noticeably and really shows off the new 400 MHz FSB and dual-DDR400 memory.