The 3D game performance comparisons get a bit murky given the lack of a consistent video card component between platforms. Many game benchmarks differ greatly depending on the video card, which is quite a shift from the CPU, subsystem, and general platform tests in the previous section.
Even so, there are select game tests that isolate the CPU, memory and platform and where video card performance has only a nominal impact on the overall results. In this section we'll be covering these three game benchmarks across all processors and platforms, and leaving the others off for now.
Unreal Tournament 2004 is an upgraded version of the popular UT series, and also includes support for Botchmatch demos. This is the next step for Unreal Tournament graphics and performance, and is another serious test for current PC hardware. For this benchmark, we've used the UMark GUI interface with the following settings: Colossus map, 12 players and High Image Quality graphics.
Unreal Tournament 2004 takes an extreme toll on the CPU, and demonstrates only a limited impact on the video card. The results bear this out, and we see the Pentium 4 560 moving out to its expected lead over the Pentium 4-3.4E GHz, while the LGA775 Pentium 4-3.4 GHz EE finishes right next to the Socket 478 model.
The Comanche 4 benchmark from Novalogic gives us an opportunity to use an actual flight sim for performance testing. Flight sims are notorious for their CPU-dependence, and this makes the Comanche 4 benchmark potentially a better CPU test than it is for 3D video cards. The reliance on the CPU shows itself off in the benchmark, and even the slightest difference in framerates could pay off in significantly enhanced game framerates. For our processor comparison, all testing has been performed at 1024x768, 32-bit with audio disabled.
Comanche 4 is another CPU hog, and although it does show a bit more gap between the two PCI Express video cards, comparisons are still easily made. There are really no surprises in this area, and this benchmark remains sort of an Achilles' heel to the Prescott core, even on the 925X/DDR2 platform.
The last part of this 3D game suite is the CPU portion of the AquaMark 3 benchmark, which shows an incredible isolation of the processor component, and virtually no gap between the two PCI Express video cards.
The AquaMark 3 CPU performance scores are not much of a surprise on the Prescott side, with the Pentium 4 560 powering past its 3.4E GHz sibling, but the Pentium 4-3.4 GHz EE comparison is a bit startling. It seems that the AquaMark 3 and 925X combo doesn't post the same high-end CPU scores as with the i875P, and there is quite a noticeable gap between the two.
Unfortunately, this represents the end of our game testing, and although we have performed all the tests and have the results at the ready, these really don't give any new information and cannot be directly compared to anything on the AGP side.