Articles: CPU

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Application Tests

In Autodesk 3ds max 2014 we benchmark the speed of mental ray rendering of a complex 3D scene.

There are not so many scenarios where the Kaveri series can show a decent computing performance. 3ds max 2014 is perhaps one of the examples. Even though the new quad-core APU from AMD can't match the speed of the junior quad-core Haswell, it is at least no worse than the dual-core i3-4340. By the way, this test shows a positive effect from the improvements in the Steamroller design: the A10-7850K is as much as 18% ahead of the A10-6800K.

We benchmark performance in Adobe Photoshop CC using our custom test which is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

We see a typical picture in Photoshop: the new A10-7850K falls behind its predecessor A10-6800K by 5% and is downright slow in comparison with Intel's products. Even the dual-core i3-4340 beats the senior quad-core Kaveri model by 42%.

The performance in the video editing suite Adobe Premiere Pro CC is measured as the time it takes to render a Blu-ray project with 1080p25 video into H.264 format and apply special effects to it.

The Steamroller-based A10-7850K is a little faster than its Piledriver-based predecessor but the overall situation remains the same. The four cores from AMD are less effective than Intel's modern dual-core solution with Hyper-Threading technology. Comparing the A10-7850K with the comparably priced Core i5-4430, we’d say that they are products of absolutely different classes.

In our ABBYY FineReader 11.0 test we convert a scanned document with lots of formulas and images into a text format.

We’ve tested the new Kaveri in very different applications but the A10-7850K hasn’t been able to compete with the Core i3, let alone the Core i5. Here, the senior Kaveri model is 17% and 28% slower than the Core i3-4340 and the Core i5-4430, respectively. It is also worse than its Socket FM2 predecessor A10-6800K.

The processors’ performance in cryptographic tasks is measured with the built-in benchmark of the popular TrueCrypt utility that uses triple AES-Twofish-Serpent encryption. Besides optimizations for multi-core CPUs, it supports the AES instructions.

This is the only diagram in the x86 performance section of our review where the Kaveri looks really good. The A10-7850K is 12% faster than the A10-6800K and even outperforms the competing CPUs from Intel!

To test the processors’ performance at data archiving we run WinRAR 5.0. Using maximum compression rate, we archive a 1.7GB folder with multiple files.

The new Steamroller microarchitecture cannot make up for the reduced clock rate of the Kaveri processor which takes more time than the A10-6800K to compress the same files. The new APU is also up to 50% slower than Intel’s processors here.

In order to measure how fast the tested CPUs can transcode video into H.264 format we used x264 FHD Benchmark 1.0.1 (64 bit). It measures the time it takes the x264 coder to convert an MPEG-4/AVC video recorded in 1920x1080@50fps resolution with default settings. The results have high practical value because the x264 codec is part of popular transcoding utilities such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc. We regularly update the coder used in this performance test. This time around, we use version r2389, which supports all contemporary instruction sets including AVX2.

Along with final rendering and encryption, video encoding is a kind of application where the A10-7850K manages to beat the A10-6800K. Moreover, the senior Kaveri model catches up with the dual-core i3-4340! That’s indeed an achievement for AMD's new processor design considering the previous tests.

Encoding video with a bare coder is hardly a real-life application, so we want to check out the speed of video transcoding with the popular free tool Freemake Video Converter 4.1.0. It uses the FFmpeg library and is based on the x264 coder too, but features certain optimizations. We disable CUDA for this test to create maximum load on the CPUs’ computing cores but enable DXVA optimizations.

Freemake Video Converter doesn’t yet use the AVX2 instructions, creating more favorable conditions for AMD APUs that don’t support AVX2. The quad-core A10-7850K is ahead of its predecessor as well as of the dual-core Haswell-based i3-4340. The gap is small, though. We still can’t say that the updated microarchitecture makes AMD's quad-core processors superior to Intel's dual-core ones in terms of x86 performance.

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