Articles: CPU

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Performance in Applications

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 with 1.1 GB total size.

The multi-threading support has been significantly improved in the latest WinRAR versions, so now the archiving speed became seriously dependent on the number of computational cores inside the CPU. Therefore, Core i7 processors fortified with Hyper-Threading technology, as well as the eight-core AMD FX-8150, do best of all in this test. As for the Core i5 series, things haven’t really changed here. Ivy Bridge based Core i5 is indisputably better than the old CPUs, showing about 7% advantage for the processors working at identical frequencies.

The processor performance in cryptographic tasks is measured using a built-in benchmark of the popular TrueCrypt utility that uses AES-Twofish-Serpent “triple” encryption. I have to say that this utility not only loads any number of cores with work in a very efficient manner, but also supports special AES instructions.

Everything is as usual, only the FX-8150 processor is again at the top of the chart. It definitely benefits from the ability to execute eight computational threads simultaneously and to process integer and bit-operations very fast. As for 3000-series Core i5, they are again indisputably ahead of their predecessors. Moreover, the performance difference between the processors with the same declared nominal clock speed is quite substantial and rests at about 15% in favor of the newcomers with Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.

Now that the eighth version of the popular scientific Mathematica suite is available, we decided to bring it back as one of our regular benchmarks. We use MathematicaMark8 integrated into this suite to test the systems performance:

Wolfram Mathematica is traditionally one of those applications that do not “digest” Hyper-Threading technology too well. Therefore, the diagram above shows Core i5-3570K in the first position. In fact, other 3000-series Core i5 processors also did very well in this benchmark. All of them not only outperform their predecessors, but also leave behind the top Core i7 processor on Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.

We measured the performance in Adobe Photoshop CS6 using our own benchmark made from Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test that has been creatively modified. It includes typical editing of four 24-megapixel images from a digital photo camera.

New Ivy Bridge microarchitecture provides the third-generation Core i5 processors with about 6% performance advantage over their predecessors working at the same clock frequency. And if we compare the processors with the same pricing, then the ones with new microarchitecture will be in an even more favorable position reaching over 10% performance advantage over the 2000-series Core i5 processors.

The performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is determined by the time it takes to render a Blu-ray project with a HDV 1080p25 video into H.264 format and apply different special effects to it.

Non-linear video editing is a well-paralleled task, so the new Core i5 processors with Ivy Bridge inside are unable to catch up with Core i7-2700K. However, they are about 10% faster than their predecessors (provided we compare models with the same clock frequency).

In order to measure how fast our testing participants can transcode a video into H.264 format we used x264 HD Benchmark 5.0. It works with an original MPEG-2 video recorded in 1080p resolution with 20 Mbps bitrate. I have to say that the results of this test are of great practical value, because the x264 codec is also part of numerous popular transcoding utilities, such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc.

The results of HD video content transcoding tests are quite common. The advantages of Ivy Bridge microarchitecture result into about 8-10% higher performance of the new Core i5 processors compared with the older ones. The only unusual thing here is the high performance of the FX-8150, which outperforms even Core i5-3570K during the second transcoding pass.

Following our readers’ requests, we’ve added a new HD video benchmark to our tests. SVPmark3 shows the computer performance in the SmoothVideo Project application which makes videos smoother by adding new intermediary frames. The numbers in the diagram reflect the speed of processing Full HD videos without the graphics card’s help.

This diagram is very similar to the results of the second transcoding pass using x264 codec. This indicates clearly that most tasks dealing with HD video content processing create very similar computational load.

We will test computational performance and rendering speeds in Autodesk 3ds max 2011 using the special SPECapc for 3ds max 2011 benchmark:

Frankly speaking, we can’t say anything new about the performance during final rendering. The results are pretty standard overall.

We use special Cinebench 11.5 benchmark to test final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D suite.

The Cinebench results also reveal nothing new. New 3000-series Core i5 processors are again much faster than their predecessors. Even the very junior Core i5-3450 model is confidently ahead of the Core i5-2500K.

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