As usual, we use the Bapco SYSmark 2012 suite to estimate performance in everyday computing tasks. It emulates a user working in popular office and digital content creation and processing applications. The test produces a single score indicative of the computer’s average performance across different applications. After the launch of Windows 8, SYSmark 2012 got updated to version 1.5 and we use the updated version for our tests.
Comparing the AMD FX-9590 with the previous flagship FX-8350, the performance has grown by about 12% without much effort. AMD achieves that by having merely increased the clock rate. Intel has to introduce new microarchitecture to ensure such performance benefits whereas AMD just ignores such factors as power consumption and heat dissipation.
On the other hand, the Vishera-based CPUs are still slower than the Core i5 and Core i7 series. The Piledriver microarchitecture isn’t very efficient in everyday applications which cannot run smoothly in eight computing threads. Low single-threaded performance is the weak spot of AMD's processors, which makes them inferior to Intel's products in general-purpose computers.
Now let’s take a closer look at the performance scores SYSmark 2012 generates in different usage scenarios. The Office Productivity scenario emulates typical office tasks, such as text editing, spreadsheets, email and web-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 10, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010 and WinZip Pro 14.5.
The Media Creation scenario emulates the creation of a video clip out of prepared materials (digital images and videos) using popular tools from Adobe: Photoshop CS5 Extended, Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5.
Web Development is a scenario that emulates website authoring. 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 10.
The Data/Financial Analysis scenario is concerned with statistical and market analysis by means of Microsoft Excel 2010.
The 3D Modeling scenario is about creating 3D models and rendering static and dynamic scenes using Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, Autodesk AutoCAD 2011 and Google SketchUp Pro 8.
The last scenario, System Management, creates backup copies and installs software and updates. It involves several different versions of Mozilla Firefox Installer and WinZip Pro 14.5.
AMD's new processors are the most impressive under the multithreaded loads of the Data/Financial Analysis and 3D Modelling scenarios. Applications of this kind can effectively run in several parallel threads, so it is no wonder that the FX-9590 can compete with the Core i5-4670K. But these are just a few cases and, moreover, there is no talking about challenging the Core i7. In other words, AMD seems to overestimate its new products, especially when it comes to typical usage scenarios such as office work, content authoring, web applications, etc.
Now let’s check out the dual-core Vishera-based processors from AMD in specific applications, starting from games.