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Performance in Applications

Although the graphics performance of the above mentioned platform seems to be of primary interest to us considering the questions we need to answer, we decided to start with the traditional office and digital content creation tests. In this case the performance depends primarily on the computational capacity of the CPU, while the graphics sub-system doesn’t really contribute at all. Therefore, in this section we will only test systems with AMD A8-3870K, Intel Pentium G850 and Intel Core i3-2120 processors without external graphics accelerators, but using only integrated graphics cores.

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 characterized the average computer performance.

Although A8-3870K is the only quad-core processor participating in this test session, it is not among the performance leaders in this test. The highest result in SYSmark 2012 belongs to Core i3-2120 and even an overclocked Socket FM1 platform can’t catch up with it. Pentium G850 also looks quite good against A8-3870K. As a result, A8-3870K in the nominal mode is the slowest of all, and during overclocking to 3.6 GHz it falls between Core i3 and Pentium processors.

Overall, it could be explained by the pretty low performance of the Husky processor cores used in Llano processors, according to today’s standards. In those cases when the operational load cannot be split into four parallel threads for the four cores of the A8-3870K processor, its performance is lower than that of the LGA 1155 competitors with fewer cores. However, if the task is well-optimized for multi-threaded execution, AMD processor may do much better. You can clearly see that it is indeed the case in those benchmarks that are estimating the system performance in individual resource-demanding applications.

To test the processors performance during data archiving we resort to WinRAR archiving utility. Using maximum compression rate we archive a folder with multiple files with 1.4 GB total size.

We measured the performance in Adobe Photoshop using our own benchmark made from Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test that has been creatively modified. It includes typical editing of four 10-megapixel images from a digital photo camera.

We use Apple iTunes utility to test audio transcoding speed. It transcodes the contents of a CD disk into AAC format. Note that the typical peculiarity of this utility is its ability to utilize only a pair of processor cores.

In order to measure how fast our testing participants can transcode a video into H.264 format we used x264 HD benchmark. It works with an original MPEG-2 video recorded in 720p resolution with 4 Mbps bitrate. 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.

We use special Cinebench test to measure the final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D.

We also use Fritz Chess Benchmark to estimate the time it takes our testing participants to complete the popular chess algorithm used in Deep Fritz application series.

Everything we have just said about the results in SYSmark 2012 can also be applied to the diagrams above. AMD processors for integrated systems only run fast in those applications, where the load can be efficiently split into multiple parallel threads. For example during 3D rendering, video transcoding or when going over possible moves in a chess game. However, high performance is subjectively more demanded in tasks like that, because most frequently this particular type of resource-demanding tasks will get your computer system “thinking” hard.

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