Articles: CPU

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Performance in Applications

To test the processors performance during data archiving we resort to WinRAR 5.0 archiving utility. Using maximum compression rate we archive a folder with multiple files with 1.7 GB total size.

When it comes to data compression, AMD’s A10 and A8 APUs, irrespective of whether they belong to the second or third APU generation, fit in between the Core i3 and Pentium processors. The dual-core A6 APUs look very weak by today’s standards. The new Richland design can only ensure a 5% increase in performance thanks to higher clock rate.

To check out our configurations with Microsoft’s office applications, we use a special test script from Futuremark which simulates a typical user working in Word 2013, Excel 2013 and PowerPoint 2013.

Office applications are generally single-threaded ones, so they are not a good choice for highlighting the advantages of processors with Piledriver microarchitecture. It is no wonder then that most of the Socket FM2 APUs fall behind even the Pentium G2130. So again, the A10, A8 and, especially, A6 are not optimal for office work.

We use Futuremark’s Peacekeeper browser benchmark as an online application test. It makes use of cutting-edge and resource-consuming web technologies and runs in Google Chrome 27.

We can see the same picture as in the office applications. Unfortunately, AMD won’t have any solutions with good x86 computing performance under single-threaded loads until the arrival of Kaveri-based APUs. The situation may only be improved by the upcoming Steamroller microarchitecture.

We benchmark CPUs in Adobe Photoshop CS6 using our custom test that is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

AMD is no better in the Photoshop test, either. Each of the company’s quad-core APUs is slower than Intel’s dual-core solutions. The Richland doesn’t change anything except for the minor increase in clock rate. Comparing the A10-5800K and the A10-6700, which work at similar clock rates, it is clear that the new APU doesn’t have any hidden advantages in terms of its x86 speed. The senior Socket FM2 processor A10-6800K is only as good as the AMD FX-4350, which is not enough to compete with the LGA1155 configurations.

We use Xilisoft Audio Converter 6.5 utility to test audio transcoding speed into mp3. During this test we transcode the audio album saved in flac format.

Now we’ve come to applications that can use four x86 cores in parallel, so the standings are different. The A10-6800K is ahead of the Core i3-3240 whereas the A10-6700 and A8-6600K are comparable to midrange Core i3 models. So, AMD’s quad-core APUs are equal to Intel’s dual-core CPUs with Hyper-Threading technology when it comes to handling the multithreaded load of transcoding audio files. As for the Core i5, none of the Socket FM2 APUs can get anywhere near its performance, so the illustration of the Richland’s positioning you could see above (where the A10 series is opposed to the Core i5) is just AMD’s wishful thinking.

In order to measure how fast our testing participants can transcode a video into H.264 format we used x264 FHD Benchmark 1.0.1 (64 bit). It works with an original MPEG-4/AVC video recorded in 1920x1080@50fps resolution with 30 Mbps bitrate and measures the time it takes x264 r2334 coder to convert the video. I have to say that the results of this test are of great practical value, because the x264 codec is also part of numerous popular transcoding utilities, such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc.

Here, AMD’s processors look good, too. Although they are inferior to the Core i5, each of the quad-core Socket FM2 APUs beats the Core i3 series, which is quite an achievement considering the other test results. The difference between the A10-6800K and A10-5800K and between the A8-6600K and A8-5600K is 7 to 8%, just as expected.

We use special Cinebench 11.5 benchmark to test final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D suite.

Although graphics rendering, like media content transcoding, is a computing task that can be easily carried out on multiple execution cores, AMD’s quad-core APUs with Piledriver microarchitecture are only comparable to the Intel Core i3 series in Cinebench, and only in their senior modifications. For example, the A8-6500 and A8-5600K are slower than the Core i3-3210 whereas the dual-core A6 series APUs are more than 1.5 times inferior to the Pentium.

The next diagram shows one of the intermediate results of the Futuremark 3DMark11 Fire Strike – Physics Score benchmark. This parameter shows how fast the testing participants can cope with a special physics test emulating the behavior of a complex system with a large number of objects.

The 3DMark Fire Strike physics test is multithreaded, so it produces typical results. AMD’s A10 and A8 series are comparable to the Core i3 in their x86 computing performance whereas the A6 APUs with one dual-core Piledriver module are too slow by today’s standards. This refers to both the Richland and the Trinity designs which differ by a mere 9% here. We can note, however, that the senior Richland-based APUs can compete with quad-core Socket AM3+ processors. The A10 6000 series APUs are both ahead of the FX-4350 that is similar to them in microarchitecture but has an additional L3 cache.

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