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 characterizing the average computer performance in different tasks. The diagram below described the contribution of various applications into the final score:

And this is what the distribution of performance results looks like:

As we have expected, the top dual-core Celeron G540 yields just a tiny bit to the junior LGA1155 Pentium processor. The difference between the two is only 3%. So, it would be fair to say that the new Celeron processors continue to expand Sandy Bridge microarchitecture into the entry segment. The performance difference between Celeron and Pentium is definitely far from what we saw between Pentium and Core i3.

However, we can’t help noticing how superior the new Celeron processors are over their LGA775 predecessors. The transition to a new platform boosted the performance of the entry-level CPUs by almost 40%, as a result Celeron G540 managed to easily outperform inexpensive competitor products.

As for the single-core Celeron G440, its result looks extremely out of place on this diagram. Even a single-core Sempron processor offers significantly higher performance, not to mention dual-core CPUs. Moreover, the performance gap inside the family, between Celeron G540 and G440, looks very unnatural, to put it mildly. The difference in price between the two is 40%, while the difference in performance is over 2.5x!

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.

No matter what type of workload there is, Celeron G540 is stably 4% behind Pentium G620, which is most likely determined by the differences in clock frequency. It means that cutting L3 cache memory from 3 Mb to 2 MB (by 1.5 times) is a purely cosmetic adjustment, which has more effect on the subjective perception of the technical specifications rather than the actual performance in applications. So, the slight difference in price between Celeron and Pentium processors has only slight influence on their performance.

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