Articles: CPU

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Performance during Data Compression

The popular WinRAR archiving utility doesn’t support multi-threading that is why the results shown by our today’s hero, Athlon 64 X2 3800+, are not that high at all. Namely, it yields to the single-core CPUs from the same price group. However, if we compare the results of our Athlon 64 X2 3800+ with those of the dual-core Pentium D 830 processor, the situation will look not so bad at all: both these processors perform almost equally fast.

You should also pay attention to the fact that when the 32-bit WinRAR utility works in 64-bit operation system, it works overall slower. The reason for that might be the WoW64 interpreter, which makes it possible for 32-bit software to work in Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

Some archiving utilities actually do support multi-threading. For example 7zip. 7zip not only works very efficiently with multi-core processors, but there is also a 64-bit version of it already available. That is why we thought it would be very interesting to use it in our today’s test session.

The data compression algorithm in 7zip uses Hyper-Threading technology pretty actively. Nevertheless, Pentium D 830 working at 3GHz frequency runs almost as fast as Pentium 4 650 working at 3.4GHz core clock frequency. The single-core Athlon 64 3800+ yields to Intel CPUs here. And as for the Athlon 64 X2 3800+, it fails to catch up with the competitors from Intel’s camp, Pentium 4 and Pentium D, even though its performance in this test got 22% higher than that of Athlon 64 3800+.

Everything we have just said is true only for the 32-bit version of 7zip archiving utility. The situation changes noticeably once we switch to 64-bit version. The thing is that 64-bit registers do a lot of good to Athlon 64 processors improving their performance significantly, while Pentium 4 processors cannot benefit that much from 64-bit registers. As we can see from our benchmark results, CPUs with NetBurst architecture may run slower in 64-bit mode than they would run in 32-bit mode. That is why the 64-bit version of 7zip utility makes Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor the winner.

During data decompression, both - Athlon 64 and Pentium 4 work faster in 64-bit mode. However, in our particular case K8 processors appear overall faster. The leader here is a single-core Athlon 64 3800+, while the dual-core Athlon 64 X2 3800+ is the second fastest falling by about 18% behind the leader.

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