Articles: CPU

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Archiving and Encryption

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 699 MB in total size.

Archiving speed is closely connected not only to the processors’ computational performance, but also with the practical memory sub-system bandwidth. Therefore, the results demonstrated by new Core i3 processors do not surprise us at all: their advantage over any other dual-core CPUs is quite logical. Higher-end Core i5-750 CPU manages to use its four fully functional cores to compete successfully against the newcomers, so it would be too early to claim that dual-core Sandy Bridge processors have totally outdone the previous-generation quad-cores.

The processor performance during encryption is measured with an integrated benchmark from a popular cryptographic utility called TrueCrypt. I have to say that it can not only effectively utilize any number of processor cores, but also supports special AES instructions.


The encryption tests ranks all processors in accordance with their positioning, and the Core i3 series always appears below Core i5 on the diagrams. The reason for that is fairly simple: Core i3 CPUs do not support AES instructions used in TrueCrypt that is why they lose to dual-core Core i5 from the Westmere generation. There is no real serious reason behind the missing AES instructions. It is a purely marking move that Intel uses to differentiate between CPU families, just like their use the disabled Turbo Boost.

Image Editing

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.

The new Core i3-2120 and Core i3-2100 show their strengths in Photoshop. And although they are pretty far behind the quad-core Sandy Bridge processors, they still defeat older CPU models, including the quad-core ones with flying colors. For example, Core i5-750 is about 5% slower than the junior Core i3-2100, while Phenom II X4 955 from AMD is 28% behind the dual-core Intel CPU.

We have also performed some tests in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 program. The test scenario includes post-processing and export into JPEG format of a hundred 12-megapixel images in RAW format.

Things look a little different in Lightroom, because this application uses the advantages of multi-core processors more efficiently. But after that, things become totally typical. There simply aren’t any dual-core processors that could compare in performance to Core i3-2120 and Core i3-2100. But the most impressive gap is between the newcomers and the slowly retiring LGA775 CPUs, even though it has been only three years since Wolfdale core made its market debut.

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