DOOM 3 is a game that needs no introduction, and continues in a long line of id Software Quake and DOOM first-person shooters. This latest installment is one serious 3D game test, including potentially the highest-end graphics yet seen on the PC. It is also a different type of game benchmark, especially compared to Quake 3, as it has a greater reliance on the 3D video card for high-end framerate results. This makes it less-than an optimum current CPU performance test, but may still bear fruit as newer and faster processors make an appearance.
DOOM 3 certainly has some level of video card dependence, but now that we've moved to the enthusiast-level eVGA GeForce 7800 GTX KO, it's very difficult for even hardcore games like DOOM 3 to have GPU limitations, especially at the lower resolutions. Our benchmark chart bears this out, and shows the Athlon 64 FX-60 posting the top score, and showing a marked improvement over the single core Athlon 64 FX-57. Our dual core progression also continues, as not only does the Athlon 64 FX-60 outperform the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX-57 in DOOM 3, but the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ does as well - and at only 2.4 GHz.
FarCry is a hot new first-person shooter that takes in-game graphics to the next level, although in a different direction than DOOM 3. Instead of darkness and confined spaces, FarCry places you outdoors, on bright sandy beaches, jungles or even on the water itself. This game gives our processors a different kind of a stress test, and rest assured that FarCry ranks up there with the very toughest 3D game benchmarks. For this test, we are using the full retail version, and the included in-game demo.
The Athlon 64 FX-60 keeps the streak going with another victory, this time in FarCry benchmarking. The dual core driver enhancements are working wonders, and allow the Athlon 64 FX-60 to use more of its capabilities in a gaming environment. The battle now has shifted to the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX-57 vs. the 2.4 GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+, something that is a "far cry" from previous comparisons.
Half-Life 2 is the latest in a line of serious first-person shooters from Valve, and has really taken in-game graphics to the next level. This is a great opportunity to really push our processors to the limit, as well as providing a counterpoint to newer 3D games like DOOM 3. This is also a CPU-reliant game in many ways, making Half-Life 2 a game that rewards higher-end processors and systems.
Half-Life 2 benchmarking is much the same story, and shows the 2.6 GHz Athlon 64 FX-60 again outperforming the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX-57, and also taking the top overall spot. The dual core advantage isn't as large as in previous benchmarks, and the Athlon 64 FX-57 stays close and takes second place.