Quake 3: Arena is may be getting a little old when it comes to gaming benchmarks, but its design still shows off some of the advantages of the AMD and Intel processors. Quake 3 is floating-point intensive and has support for SIMD optimizations (MMX, 3DNow! and SSE), which makes it a great fit for processor testing. It also happens to scale nicely to faster CPUs, video cards and motherboards, and Quake 3 performance continues to be the basis for many CPU and 3D video card purchases.
Quake 3 testing is performed starting with High Quality settings, then racking in-game detail settings to maximum, and a 800x600 resolution, using release 1.30, along with the standard "demo Four".
Quake 3 is definitely old school, but the game does give us a secondary view of these value processors. The Celeron D 351 certainly posts a high score, but like in all benchmarking, the relative position is the important factor. Here, Intel's value line finds itself behind the AMD Sempron, and by a noticeable amount. Quake 3 has long been an Intel stronghold, but the Sempron is definitely the new value gun in town.
Unreal Tournament 2004 is an upgraded version of the popular UT series, and includes support for Botmatch demos. This is the next evolution for Unreal Tournament graphics and performance, and is yet another serious test for current PC hardware. Botmatch performance is also more reflective of CPU power than Flyby, giving UT 2004 special significance in processor testing. For this benchmark, we've used the following options and settings: average of 3 Botmatch maps, 12 players and maximum detail graphics.
Unreal Tournament 2004 continues our transition from old school to new, but unfortunately, the news doesn't get any better for Intel. Once again, the Sempron contingent outmatches the Celeron D 351, and the Intel value CPU is barely able to surpass the 100 fps mark.
3DMark05 is part of the Futuremark 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 provide a small break for the Celeron D 351, but even here, it's a matter of performing more competitively, rather than posting the top score. We had expected the higher-clocked 3.2 GHz Celeron D 351 to score the best here, but without the benefit of Hyper-Threading support, the Sempron 3400+ and 3300+ were able to sneak by.