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.

WinRAR version 4.2 has been significantly optimized for multi-threading that is why six-core LGA 2011 processors do very well here. Namely, the new Core i7-3970X outperforms Core i7-3770K by almost 25%.

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.

Cryptographic tasks run great on eight-core AMD processors, but the six-core Core i7-3970X easily shows FX-8350 its place. AMD processors can in most cases compete against Intel’s quad-core offerings, but under no circumstances can they get even remotely close to the performance level of six-core CPUs.

We use Apple iTunes utility to test audio transcoding speed. During this test we transcode the contents of a CD disk into AAC format. Note that the peculiarity of this program is the exclusive single-threaded load.

This pretty interesting iTunes test reveals a few weaknesses of the Sandy Bridge-E design. Though the new Core i7-3970X has become 2.5% faster than the predecessor, it falls behind Core i7-3770K. This is exactly the case when Ivy Bridge microarchitecture demonstrates better relative performance, which we mentioned above.

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:

However, higher frequency does matter for the new Core i7-3970X in Mathematica 8, where it takes the lead again.

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.

Do not think that processors like Core i7-3970X need special multi-threaded environment. Even if the application doesn’t fully utilize all the processor cores, the processor still performs very well. This is where Turbo Boost steps in and increases its clock frequency to 4.0 GHz under loads with fewer threads. As a result, even if we run the Photoshop tests without applying any of the resource-hungry filters to the images, but during typical diverse processing tasks, the flagship LGA 2011 CPU will show unattainably high performance number anyway.

We have also performed some tests in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.2 program. The test scenario includes post-processing and export into JPEG format of two hundred 12-megapixel images in RAW format.

Adobe Lightroom knows how to process photographs using multiple threads, which is Core i7-3970X friendly environment. It proves to be 2.5% faster than its predecessor and leaves Core i7-3770K 13% behind.

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.

High definition video content processing is one of the best types of load for multi-core processors. Therefore, systems with top LGA 2011 CPUs will be a great choice for those who work with HD content a lot. For example, the new Core i7-3970X is as ,much as 32% faster in premiere Pro CS5 than the flagship LGA 1155 system.

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 obtained during video transcoding tests are very similar to what we have already SEEN IN Premiere Pro. Core i7-3970X is 30% faster than the top processors in any of the alternative platforms.

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

Rendering is yet another example of a multi-threaded task, where Intel’s $1000 processors prove totally worth the price. Professional users should be highly pleased with all of them: Core i7-3970X, just like its predecessor, will be a great choice for a pretty fast workstation. The only possible alternative in this case would be a dual-processor Xeon E5 based system, for example.

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