Articles: CPU
 

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Testbed and Methods

To test the contemporary CPUs in the latest graphics applications we used a testbed built with one of the fastest graphics cards of today: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT with 256MB of graphics memory onboard. If we used a slower graphics card the performance of the today’s fastest CPUs would be limited by the graphics card potential and we wouldn’t be able to test them the right way.

Also, in order to eliminate all potential bottlenecks of the test platform we selected the mainboards that have already stood the test of time and have proven to be the best solutions for enthusiast systems. They are: Socket 939 mainboard from DFI based on NVIDIA nForce 4 Ultra chipset and ASUS mainboard based on i955X Express chipset.

Another peculiarity of our test platforms worth mentioning is the 2GB of RAM we installed. Contemporary games are very sensitive to the amount system memory, and most of them already need more than 1GB for the swap file to work properly. As a result, we assembled a few testbeds, which consisted of the following components:

  • CPUs:
    1. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (Socket 939, 2.4 GHz, 2 x 1024KB L2, E6 core revision aka Toledo);
    2. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (Socket 939, 2.4 GHz, 2 x 512KB L2, E6 core revision aka Manchester);
    3. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (Socket 939, 2.2 GHz, 2 x 1024KB L2, E6 core revision aka Toledo);
    4. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (Socket 939, 2.2 GHz, 2 x 512KB L2, E6 core revision aka Manchester);
    5. AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Socket 939, 2.0 GHz, 2 x 512KB L2, E6 core revision aka Manchester);
    6. AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 (Socket 939, 2.8 GHz, 1024KB L2, E4 core revision aka San Diego);
    7. AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 (Socket 939, 2.6 GHz, 1024KB L2, E4 core revision aka San Diego);
    8. AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (Socket 939, 2.4 GHz, 1024KB L2, E4 core revision aka San Diego);
    9. AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (Socket 939, 2.4 GHz, 512KB L2, E3 core revision aka Venice);
    10. AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (Socket 939, 2.2 GHz, 512KB L2, E3 core revision aka Venice);
    11. AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (Socket 939, 2.0 GHz, 512KB L2, E3 core revision aka Venice);
    12. AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Socket 939, 1.8 GHz, 512KB L2, E3 core revision aka Venice);
    13. Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (LGA775, 3.2 GHz, 2 x 1MB L2);
    14. Intel Pentium D 840 (LGA775, 3.2 GHz, 2 x 1MB L2);
    15. Intel Pentium D 830 (LGA775, 3.0 GHz, 2 x 1MB L2);
    16. Intel Pentium D 820 (LGA775, 2.8 GHz, 2 x 1MB L2);
    17. Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73 GHz (LGA775, 3.73 GHz, 2MB L2);
    18. Intel Pentium 4 670 (LGA775, 3.8 GHz, 2MB L2);
    19. Intel Pentium 4 660 (LGA775, 3.6 GHz, 2MB L2);
    20. Intel Pentium 4 650 (LGA775, 3.4 GHz, 2MB L2);
    21. Intel Pentium 4 640 (LGA775, 3.2 GHz, 2MB L2);
    22. Intel Pentium 4 630 (LGA775, 3.0 GHz, 2MB L2);
    23. Intel Pentium 4 570 (LGA775, 3.8 GHz, 1MB L2);
    24. Intel Pentium 4 560 (LGA775, 3.6 GHz, 1MB L2);
    25. Intel Pentium 4 550 (LGA775, 3.4 GHz, 1MB L2);
    26. Intel Pentium 4 540 (LGA775, 3.2 GHz, 1MB L2);
    27. Intel Pentium 4 530 (LGA775, 3.0 GHz, 1MB L2);
    28. Intel Pentium 4 520 (LGA775, 2.8 GHz, 1MB L2).
  • Mainboards:
    • DFI LANParty UT NF4 Ultra-D (NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra);
    • ASUS P5WD2 Premium (LGA775, Intel 955X Express).
  • Memory:
    • 2048MB DDR400 SDRAM (Corsair CMX1024-3500LLPRO, 2 x 1024 MB, 2-3-2-10);
    • 2048MB DDR2-667 SDRAM (Corsair CM2X1024-6400PRO, 2 x 1024 MB, 3-3-3-12).
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT 256MB (PCI-E x16).
  • Storage subsystem: Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB (SATA150).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP SP2 с DirectX 9.0c.

The tests were carried out with the BIOS Setup of the mainboards used adjusted for maximum performance.

 
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