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 characterized the average computer performance.

As you probably remember, a little while back AMD tried to troll SYSmark stating that it wasn’t an objective benchmark because of the “unfair” combination of applications it used. However, in our opinion, this complaint is unjustified, because the performance was estimated using widely spread and really popular programs. The contribution of each such program into the final test score is given on the following diagram:

Therefore, we decided not to give up SYSmark 2012 and continue using this suite to estimate the performance in general-purpose applications.

The first test turned out a big disappointment. The eight-core FX-8150 processor is only 10% faster than the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T and of course, it is way behind the quad-core Intel CPUs. So, it looks like AMD’s decision to build a processor with a lot of cores featuring low specific performance instead of using a moderate number of complex cores doesn’t work as well as they expected it to.

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 9.

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 Bulldozer based processor demonstrates different results in different usage models. In some case it runs even slower than Phenom II X6, but there are also a few opposite situations. Overall the general rule can be defined as follows: FX-8150 is particularly efficient in applications with multi-threaded and well-paralleled load, which at the same time is not computationally challenging.

However, even in the most favorable situations FX-8150 falls behind Core i5-2500. The only scenario where these processors demonstrate comparable speed is 3D rendering. Other than that the Intel product is on average 25% faster, which is kind of sad…

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