Articles: CPU

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Performance in 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.

The results on the diagrams above make us repeat one more time everything we have just said about the SYSmark 2012 numbers. AMD processors currently offered for integrated systems can boast more or less acceptable performance only in those tasks where the load can be split into parallel threads easily. For example, these are 3D rendering, video transcoding or analyzing chess moves. However, even in these tasks the only processor with competitive performance is AMD A8-3850, which clock frequency has been increased at the expense of power consumption and heat dissipation. All other AMD processors with 65 W TDP are totally destroyed by any Core i3, even in the most AMD-friendly conditions. Therefore, Intel Pentium processors look pretty good against AMD Fusion’s background: these dual-core CPUs perform about as fast as A6-3500 in case of well-paralleled load, and outperform A8 processors in such application as WinRAR, iTunes or Photoshop.

In addition we checked out the effect from using the graphics core for everyday computational tasks. We used Cyberlink Media Espresso 6.5 that measures the video content transcoding speed. This utility allows employing the resources of different graphics cores and supports both Intel Quick Sync as well as ATI Stream. We measured the time it took to transcode a 1.5 GB H.264 1080p video clip (a 20-minute episode of a popular TV show) into an iPhone 4 friendly format.

The results can be split in two groups. The first one includes Intel Core i3 with Quick Sync support. The numbers speak louder than words: Quick Sync allows transcoding HD video content several times faster than with any other tools. The second large group includes all other processors, and CPUs with more cores are on the first positions here. As we can see, AMD’s Stream technology doesn’t do anything here and dual-core Fusion APUs do not do any better than Pentium processors, which transcode video in the computational cores only.

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