Multitasking: Scenario 3

Scenario 3

The third and last scenario in multitasking testing is based around someone gaming on their machine.  Most gamers don’t have a whole lot of active applications running behind their games, so I didn’t include anything like the PDF or Excel document in the background.  What I did include was Trillian, iTunes (as I know many gamers listen to MP3 while playing their games) and I also threw in a Norton AV virus scan.  While you may not have Norton do a scan on purpose while you are gaming, many times I have had NAV start doing one based on its schedule while I have been doing other things, so I felt it appropriate for a worst case scenario.

  1. Open Trillian
  2. Open iTunes and play 12 song playlist
  3. Start NAV virus scan on HDDs
  4. Start Doom3 and run timedemos @ 1024×768, HQ, 4xAA

The results this time were based around the average frame rate reported by the Doom 3 in-game time demos.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Dual Core Processor Review - Processors 56 

The base results from our gaming scenario shows the Athlon 64 processors in the lead, as we would expect with most gaming applications. 

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Dual Core Processor Review - Processors 57

Interestingly, neither processor platform shows a very dramatic change in performance even with the host of programs running in the background.  The Athlons are still faster on the gaming side of things, and I think that will remain until we really push some heavy processor usage on it in the background behind the gaming.  (I believe the 4400+ and 3700+ performance lead over the FX-55 is inflated by a few frames due a small BIOS change during testing.)

On a side note, though this is nothing that can be “documented” very well (but I really felt like I needed to pass it on)…  After exiting Doom 3 testing and returning to the desktop, the FX-55 and 3700+ systems responded much more slowly than the Intel XE 840 and X2 4400+ systems did.  By responded I mean, the Windows took quite a bit longer to draw and it took quite a bit more time for the AMD system to become responsive again to my mouse commands (closing, moving windows, etc).  I’d say it was at least twice as long for the single core systems than it was for the dual core systems, but this is just a feeling I get from the computing experience that may be important to  you. 

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