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Synthetic Benchmarks

We don't often use synthetic benchmarks in our mainboard reviews because their results generally have little practical value, but we’ve got a special case today as we are studying the all-new Bobcat microarchitecture. That’s why we will run tests from the SiSoftware Sandra 2011 that help evaluate the performance of different CPU subunits regardless of the overall platform speed. Using those tests we will be able to see the strong and weak aspects of the new microarchitecture in comparison with Intel's first- and second-generation Atoms.

The 1.6GHz Zacate is somewhat faster than both Atoms, the old 1.6GHz model and the new 1.8GHz one, in terms of arithmetic performance but is not so good in terms of multimedia which is benchmarked by Sandra 2011 as the speed of processing SSE2 and SSE3 instructions. Thus, we cannot see the AMD solution being overwhelmingly superior to its opponents. Although AMD claims that its energy-efficient processor supports out-of-order execution and should be faster, Intel’s Hyper-Threading can make up for Intel’s simplified microarchitecture in terms of performance in practical applications.

Now let’s check out the performance of the CPU-integrated memory controllers.

The numbers suggest that the integrated single-channel DDR3 SDRAM controllers of the AMD Zacate and Intel Atom (Pineview) processors are roughly equal to each other.

We can also use Sandra 2011 to benchmark the computing performance of the integrated graphics cores. The test suite contains a special GPGPU test that is based on calculating the Mandelbrot set and utilizes OpenCL.

Well, AMD’s processor has something to impress us with. The integrated graphics core is more than 50% faster than the second-generation ION. We might have expected that, though. The Radeon HD 6310 core has as many as 80 stream processors, which make it very good at general computing tasks.

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