CrossFire Comparison: Intel X38 vs. P35

October 12, 2007 // 5:25 p.m.

Tags: #16 #4 #8 #analysis #article #benchmark #benchmarks #comparison #crossfire #p35 #pci-express #performance #review #x38

Companies: #amd #ati #intel #test

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Publisher: Activision

Built on an updated version of id Software's Doom 3 engine, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a team-based first person shooter that recently obtained the title of being the first game to use John Carmack's megatexture technology: a single texture that spans the entire map.

ET:QW also makes use of many vehicles and large open areas which means the action in view can get really intensive in this team based shooter. It's also the only game in this suite that utilises OpenGL instead of the pretty much industry-standard DirectX API. We used the full retail version of the game patched to version 1.1.

We recorded a timenetdemo that lasts for several minutes during an online game - this used lots of the different graphical effects to create what we've deemed to be a fairly typical slice of action to stress the system. We also created a custom autoexec file that enabled ultra high video settings, over and above that of the standard in game "high".

CrossFire Comparison: Intel X38 vs. P35 Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

1280x1024, 0xAF, 0xAA, Ultra High Details

  • MSI P35 Diamond (x16/x4)
  • Asus Blitz Extreme (x8/x8)
  • Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n (x16/x16)
  • 48.6
  • 60.2
  • 63.1
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Frames Per Second - higher is better

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

1920x1200, 0xAF, 0xAA, Ultra High Details

  • MSI P35 Diamond (x16/x4)
  • Asus Blitz Extreme (x8/x8)
  • Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n (x16/x16)
  • 41.7
  • 45.6
  • 50.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
Frames Per Second - higher is better

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

2560x1600, 0xAF, 0xAA, Ultra High Details

  • MSI P35 Diamond (x16/x4)
  • Asus Blitz Extreme (x8/x8)
  • Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n (x16/x16)
  • 30.6
  • 32.9
  • 34.6
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Frames Per Second - higher is better

We see a more expected scaling progression in ET:QW, which increases performance 24 percent at low resolution to just five percent (or just two frames per second) at the highest resolution. There's a respectively smaller difference - five, ten and five percent between dual x8 and dual x16 as you increase the resolution, comparatively to the unbalanced x16/x4 combination which has an increased gap of 24, nine and then eight percent.

The difference at lower resolution is actually quite significant between the two extremes - 63.1fps should be noticeably faster than 48.6fps for some people, depending on your need for high frame rates in this title. At 2560x1600 all the boards perform within four fps of each other, so it should still remain almost playable for everyone.
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