We also looked at the performance of a number of popular 3-D games and ran FutureMarks 3DMark 2001SE. Interestingly, the 865PE system outperformed the older 850E-based Dell in a number of these tests, and essentially tied that RDRAM-equipped PC in the rest. Bear in mind that the 3.06-GHz Dell system actually has a 66-MHz clock-rate advantage over the 875P- and 865PE-based systems with their 3.0-GHz CPUs.
The PCMark 2002 memory scores indicate that the 875P offers substantially higher memory throughput than the other two Intel chip sets (and the Athlon XP/nForce2 combination also suffers by comparison). This indicates that any application able to take advantage of higher memory bandwidth will benefit, which we saw in our game tests.
Most 3-D game applications benefit substantially from increased memory bandwidth. When antialiasing was disabled, the 865PE system generally kept up with, or in many cases, beat the Dell 8250, which is based on the older Intel 850E. When antialiasing is turned on, the differences widen, probably due to the older chip sets lack of AGP 8X support. The 875Ps better memory bandwidth results in even higher benchmark test scores than those of the 865PE on our 3-D tests, which is what we would predict looking at the PCMark 2002 memory scores.
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.
In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.
Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.