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AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Review - Part 6 - 11/14/05

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AMD Athlon X2 3800+
Dual Core Review - Part 6


Gaming Performance

The actual "gaming performance" metrics of 3DMark'05 is completely irrelevant as a CPU benchmark, rather we are using the CPU benchmark intergrated therein.





























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At an average of over 100 fps, there is really nothing that the X3800 lacks
The X2 3800+ pretty much ties with the P4 670 and the 840D.
Even an average of only 89 fps in our CPU stress benchmark is way beyond the minimum requirements for smooth gaming experience.

Gaming applications are still rather single minded, er, threaded, but the X2-3800+ holds its ground. used.

Final Thoughts

We took the X2-3800+, ran it through the paces, and suffice it to say that this little CPU took all the beatings we subjected it to without the slightest hiccup. Power consumption and thermal properties are exceptionally good, especially compared to the actual processing power the X2-3800+ delivers.








There are a few highlights of our findings that may be worth repeating, particularly the fact that running the memory at higher clock speed than the core results in quite a performance hit. Originally, it appeared to be the opposite, meaning that the performance increased with the memory bus speed. However, when we scrutinized our own findings, it turned out that, at least in the system we used as test bench, an increase in memory bus frequency automatically upped the processor core speed at the same rate. It was not until we had run an entire spectrum of benchmarks that we caught this glitch, but it is there and it is reproducible, even though it is system dependent.

In the end, what it comes down to, is that we see the same impact of asynchronously running of the memory bus that already plagued the VIA KT series and the nForce2 chipset. Bottomline is that once and again, the best way of running memory appears to be in synchronous mode, our latency and bandwidth benchmarks speak for themselves and were reflected in basically every system benchmark that involved memory data traffic.

The next highlight is the extreme power efficiency of the X2-3800. While the Venice core may - depending on the core speed - run at lower electrical power, the Manchester-based X2 3800+ will deliver better system performance at approximately the same overall power consumption. The same goes for the thermal dissipation that is plain and simply in a league of its own.

Arguably, there are faster gaming processors out there than the X2-3800+. On the other hand, the dual core smoothness that is so hard to put into numbers offsets any setback of the lower core speed in single threaded, single minded, single, er, first person shooter games.

In terms of overall performance, power efficiency, thermal waste, and overall smoothness, the X2-3800 is probably the best microprocessor currently available.

Author Dr. Michael Schuette - Lost Circuits
The Score / Watt metric on the other hand catapults the X2-3800 all the way to the top, challenged only by the Venice-based 3800+.

Once again, the Manchester core-based X2 3800+ appears to deliver the overall best compromise between performance and power consumption.







DOOM3 and FarCry

I guess I happen to be one of these reviewers who put their head up Kyle Bennett's ass (as claimed somewhere else) by challenging the point of view that a difference of some 10% in overall frame rates makes one processor a better gaming CPU than the other. Realistically, for optimal gaming experience, VSync should be enabled on a CRT to avoid tearing, on LCDs, there is still a nominal refresh rate of usually 60 Hz, which essentially takes over the same function.

Nonetheless, benchmarks are benchmarks and there are subtle differences between CPUs and platforms that may be relevant - at least from a marketing perspective and to further technical progress and innovation.
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