| Unreal Tournament
Tournament 2003 is the sequel to 1999's multiple 'Game of the Year' award
winner. It uses the very latest Unreal Engine technology - where graphics, sound
and game play are taken beyond the bleeding edge. Unreal Tournament 2003 employs
the use of Vertex as well as Pixel Shaders and it's recommended that you use a
DirectX 8 videocard to get the most out of the game.
no question, the Athlon64 3200+ simply owns the competition. Those are the highest UT2003
benchmarks I have ever seen!
The (K8) Athlon64 3200+ is a very worthy successor to
the great K7 and Athlon name. There's a saying "better late then never" and that really does apply
here to the Athlon64. Originally due to be launched this time last year, it
would have simply blown away the competition, but, unfortunately AMD
ran into manufacturing problems that delayed the launch a full year. Still, as it stands
right now, the Athlon 64 clearly outperforms Intel's top of the line
processor, the 3.2GHz Pentium 4!
Intel, limping badly from this encounter, is expected to
release the Intel Extreme Edition very shortly which can hold itself up in
better light to the Athlon64 3200+ and Athlon64 FX51 processors.
In the last few years AMD has proven themselves to be a
very innovative company, if they had just followed in Intel's foot steps
they could have never reached the top, as they did for most of the Athlon's
life. With Microsoft saying that 64 bit computing is the way of the future, the
Athlon64 offers end users a much easier upgrade path than that from the Pentium
4. Best of all with AMD's Athlon64, you can run 32 bit software in your 64
bit OS; you won't have to lose your favorite games or applications!
AMD dramatically improved their processor packaging and
thermal care. With the IHS, there are no longer any concerns for crushed or
cracked cores, and the new HSF retention mechanism is very well designed.
It's easy to use yet stronger and more durable than the Pentium 4 retention
mechanism. During testing the Athlon64 3200+ system ran very
cool (43 degrees celsius according to the temp diode) with the stock
HSF, and very quiet.
While it's nice to have a future ready system, the
Athlon64 is still a power house in the 32 bit realm as well. As you can see from
the benchmarks, it often out-performs the Pentium 4 3.2 GHz and older AthlonXP
3200+ in the 2D world, but it's in 3D where the Athlon64 shines. For example,
under a stock configuration the processor was able to push 3DMark 2001SE through
the 20322 mark.
It's not just 3DMark that the Athlon64 3200+ excels in;
the processor was also very fast in Quake III Arena and it totally blew
away the competition in UT2003! While we did not post the numbers along with the
other benchmarks, the Athlon64 scored 68.22FPS at 1024x768 in Comanche
4, and 38.89FPS in Gun Metal 2. Even SPECviewperf liked it more
than either the Pentium 4 3.2C or AthlonXP 3200+! It should be pretty clear, if
you're working on 3D applications, there's nothing faster than the Athlon64 in
the desktop market.
The 2.0GHz Athlon64 3200+ retails for
about $417 USD, while the 2.2GHz Athlon64 FX51 is priced at $713
USD. Compared to typical Intel prices, it is easy to see that
AMD are making a dramatic shift away from the rock bottom prices of
old. The new 64-bit Athlon 64 is powerful, and there is no reason why we
should expect it to be priced significantly lower than an equivalent Intel
processor just because it is made by AMD.... though I'd expect prices to drop a
little once the supply of Athlon64's loosens up.
Even under 32-bit applications, we've been very
impressed with this new 32-bit/64-bit processor. As WindowsXP gradually migrates
to 64-bit, and 64-bit software emerges those who adopted
the Athlon64 will find new life, and potentially new
performance gains form their processor. For the moment, 32-bit applications are
all we can levy on the Athlon64 3200+, and with it priced at the premium,
it is going to stay in the hands of the performance enthusiasts, gamers,
and early adopters. Faced with a choice between an Intel Pentium 4 processor
and an Athlon64 3200+, it's pretty clear our choice would sit with
AMD. Let's just hope it's not short lived...
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