Articles: CPU

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General Performance

As usual, we use Bapco SYSmark 2012 suite to estimate the processor performance in general-purpose tasks. It emulates the usage models in popular office and digital content creation and processing applications. The idea behind this test is fairly simple: it produces a single score characterizing the average computer performance. After the launch of Windows 8 SYSmark 2012 got updated to version 1.5, and this is exactly the version e are using in our test session.

As expected, the Richland-based CPUs are not much faster than their Trinity-based predecessors. The average difference is about 6 to 7% and depends directly on their clock rate. The same can be inferred from AMD’s price policy: the new models of the A10, A8 and A6 series are more expensive by the same percentage. It means the market positioning of Socket FM2 APUs has not changed. Their computing performance is still rather unassuming in everyday applications in comparison with the competing products from Intel. In fact, the A10 and A8 APUs with two Piledriver modules can only compete with Intel’s Pentium series whereas the A6 APUs with only one Piledriver module are even slower than that.

Let’s take a closer look at the performance scores SYSmark 2012 generates in different usage scenarios. Office Productivity scenario emulates typical office tasks, such as text editing, electronic tables processing, email and Internet surfing. This scenario uses the following applications: ABBYY FineReader Pro 10.0, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010 and WinZip Pro 14.5.

Media Creation scenario emulates the creation of a video clip using previously taken digital images and videos. Here they use popular Adobe suites: Photoshop CS5 Extended, Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5.

Web Development is a scenario emulating web-site designing. It uses the following applications: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.8 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 10.

Data/Financial Analysis scenario is devoted to statistical analysis and prediction of market trends performed in Microsoft Excel 2010.

3D Modeling scenario is fully dedicated to 3D objects and rendering of static and dynamic scenes using Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, Autodesk AutoCAD 2011 and Google SketchUp Pro 8.

The last scenario called System Management creates backups and installs software and updates. It involves several different versions of Mozilla Firefox Installer and WinZip Pro 14.5.

The gap between same-class Richland and Trinity-based APUs remains stable irrespective of their usage scenario. The increased clock rate being the only source of computing performance improvements, it is natural that the 6000 series models are only 5 to 7% faster than their predecessors. That’s why the Richland series show the same weak spots as we noticed about Socket FM2 APUs earlier. For example, their computing performance is only competitive at multithreaded loads. Like any other processors based on the Piledriver microarchitecture, the Richland series are not efficient at single-threaded loads. As a result, the A10 and A8 APUs can only challenge the Intel Core i3 series in the 3D Modeling scenario since rendering tasks can be easily carried out in parallel on any number of execution cores. System Management is another example of such a scenario.

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