3DMark05 is the latest version in the popular 3DMark series of gaming benchmarks, and is the first to require full DirectX 9.0 compatibility. The 3DMark05 program also offers a high-end selection of both gaming and CPU tests, while upping the ante in terms of jaw-dropping graphics and 3D feature support. 3DMark05 is not only a prime way of determining potential DirectX 9 game performance, but the individual CPU performance score also makes it a valuable tool in processor reviews and performance comparisons. This benchmark was performed at the standard 1024x768x32 resolution and color depth with no anti-aliasing or filtering.
The 3DMark05 CPU benchmark results have really changed with the addition of the eVGA GeForce 7800 GTX card and the dual core enhanced drivers. The Athlon 64 FX-60 is once again the fastest processor in this test, and the dual core advantage is quite clear. The 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX-57 is not only outperformed by the Athlon 64 FX-60 and Athlon 64 X2 4800+, but the X2 4600+ as well. In terms of the Intel competition, it was only a few weeks ago that the Pentium EE 955 set a new high water mark, and now the Athlon 64 FX-60 comes along and absolutely annihilates it with a 3DMark05 Pro score of over 8,000.
AquaMark 3 is a relatively new DirectX 9 benchmark, and although it does not correspond to an actual game, it does use the same Krass engine as found in products such as Aquanox 2 and Spellforce. AquaMark 3 also supports new features such as Hyper-Threading, Pixel Shader and Vertex Shader 2.0, and uses a wide range of DirectX 9 effects and features. For this review, we've tested the basic performance benchmark in standard 1024x768 32-bit mode, and offer up the CPU scores.
AquaMark 3 is another benchmark that rewards old school performance, and although the Athlon 64 FX-60 does move past the Intel competition, and proves to the fastest dual core processor, the Athlon 64 FX-57 takes the top spot by a nice margin. This test, like Quake 3, goes to prove that although the dual core enhanced drivers have allowed significant performance gains in some cases, not all games or 3D tests react as favorably.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a hot, action adventure game that not only features luscious indoor and outdoor graphics and a killer story, but some very innovative gameplay as well. Our Halo test uses the default timedemo, while also enabling 2.0 shaders for all benchmark testing.
Halo: Combat Evolved benchmarking is another one of these game tests, and it shows the Athlon 64 FX-60 sitting pretty in the dual core rankings, but back slightly from the performance of the Athlon 64 FX-57. In terms of relative performance, the 2.6 GHz Athlon 64 FX-60 does get a boost from the enhanced drivers, just not enough to make up the gap.