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.

We are already well familiar with the performance that Ivy Bridge processors can offer us, therefore SYSmark 2012 results seem quite normal to us. Just as with quad-core processors, the performance gain from the transition of Core i3 processor family to the new Ivy Bridge microarchitecture is quite minor: it makes only about 4%. It means that new Core i3 from the 3000 series cannot offer anything principally new in terms of performance. They are obviously slower than any originally quad-core Core i5 CPUs, but are faster than all AMD competitors including quad-core Llano as well as quad- and six-core Bulldozer.

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 tests in specific CPU usage scenarios repeat the overall picture. Core i3-3240 and Core i3-3220 are always a little ahead of their predecessors – Core i3-2125 and Core i3-2130, but are considerably far behind the junior Core i5 models, irrespective of the Core microarchitecture generation. In fact, the diagrams are absolutely relevant to the price gap between the Core i5 and Core i3 solutions and the use of new Ivy Bridge microarchitecture doesn’t have any real effect on the situation.

The situation becomes slightly unusual in Data/Financial Analysis and 3D Modeling scenarios, where AMD FX-6200 does noticeably better than usual: it outperforms all Intel Core i3 processors. Multi-core structure is obviously an indisputable advantage in case of this specific type of computational load. AMD processor that is capable of processing six computational threads simultaneously gets a very good chance to show better performance numbers than dual-core competitors.

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