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 has some level of video card dependence, but with a high-end video card, it is still possible to achieve separation, especially at the lower resolutions. The benchmark chart may still be tight, but we can still see which processors are the top bets. The Athlon 64 FX-62 regains its place at the top of the chart, followed by the Athlon 64 FX-60. Intel makes a far better showing here, and the DDR2/DDR comparison is inconclusive, with the some favoring DDR2 and others DDR. One area that continues to bear watching is the close proximity of the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and 5000+ in terms of gaming performance.
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.
You can add FarCry to the list of games that seem to prefer a DDR-based platform, and the Athlon 64 FX-60 takes back the performance crown from the Athlon 64 FX-62. Granted, these are all very close scores, but there are still gaps between comparable AM2 and Socket 939 processors.
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 reverses this trend in a big hurry, and shows off the potential impact of high-bandwidth DDR2 on overall performance. The Athlon 64 FX-62 posted the highest score, but this time it's the Athlon 64 X2 5000+ in second place, just ahead of the Athlon 64 FX-60. This performance advantage continues down the line from the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ to 4600+.