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.

Overall, the results of Core i5 processors from the 3000-series are quite what we expected them to be. They are faster than the previous generation Core i5. Moreover, the Core i5-2500K, which is the fastest Core i5 CPU on Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, yields even to the most junior Core i5-3450. However, the new Core i5 CPUs are still unable t catch up with the Core i7, because of the missing Hyper-Threading technology.

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.

In most usage scenarios the situation is pretty typical: 3000-series Core i5 is faster than predecessors, but slower than Core i7 processors based on Sandy Bridge as well as Ivy Bridge microarchitecture. However, there are a few situations when things become out of the ordinary. For example, in Media Creation scenario Core i5-3570K processor manages to outperform Core i7-2700K; AMD FX-8150 does unexpectedly well in 3D modeling suites; the previous-generation Core i5-2500K processor almost catches up with the new Core i5-3470 in System Management scenario, which generates mostly single-threaded loads.

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