Quake III: Arena Performance
Kicking things off with Quake III: Arena, the performance was much as expected. Intel's 1GHz effort led the way. Quake III: Arena makes good use of Intel's SSE optimizations and if it's what you live and die by, then 123.6fps is exactly what the doctor ordered. We ran the test systems at a low-resolution (640x480) and with an NVIDIA TNT2Ultra (with no Hardware T&L support) in order to measure raw CPU power.
Quake II crusher.dm2
Quake II was a similar story. The 1GHz Pentium III came in at 116.2fps which is some 3.9fps faster than the Athlon 1GHz. Quake II engine-based games are still being played and, with Soldier of Fortune due for release, it's still a widely used 3D game engine and therefor a viable test in our book.
Both of these benchmarks show where Intel's full-speed L2 cache wins out. AMD's need for full-speed on-die cache is of course on the horizon (see Athlon 1GHz review) with their "Thunderbird" core. At the lower-end, the performance differential between an Athlon and Pentium III clock for clock is minimal but with the higher frequency at 1GHz the performance gap gets slightly wider with the lower L2 cache speed of the Athlon acting as an Achilles heel.