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 1.7 GB total size.

The performance differences between Core i7-4770K and Core i7-3770K, which represent two different microarchitectures, are hardly noticeable during data compression tests. We would expect faster L1 and L2 caches to have a positive effect for Haswell, but it must be compensated by the increases latency of the L3 cache in this case.

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.

5% advantage of Core i7-4770K over Core i7-3770K shows the benefits of all Haswell’s improvements (both these processors work at identical clock speeds), but is not sufficient to let the LGA 1150 flagship CPU catch up with AMD Piledriver. However, Intel fans shouldn’t get discouraged. Encryption in TrueCrypt is the only situation when eight-core AMD FX-8350 outperforms Core i7-4770K.

We use Xilisoft Audio Converter 6.4 utility to test audio transcoding speed into mp3. During this test we transcode the audio album saved in loseless flac format.

Xilisoft Audio Converter compresses mp3 files very quickly. However, Haswell based processor completes this task 6% faster than Core i7-3770K.

Now that the ninth version of the popular scientific Wolfram Mathematica suite is available, we decided to bring it back as one of our regular benchmarks. We use MathematicaMark9 integrated into this suite to test the systems performance:

Not all calculations in Mathematica can be split in parallel threads efficiently. Nevertheless, Core i7-4770K demonstrates 11% advantage over the Ivy Bridge processor working at the same clock frequency and therefore outperforms even a 1000-dollar heavy-weight – Core i7-3970X.

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.

Here new microarchitecture improves the performance by only 6%. And after two generations of Intel processors the performance in Photoshop increased by only 12%: this is the difference between the test script run on Core i7-4770K and Core i7-3820. Quite a pity, and therefore this can hardly be considered a worthy argument in favor of a PC upgrade.

We have also performed some tests in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.4 program. The test scenario includes post-processing and export into JPEG format of two hundred 12-megapixel images in RAW format.

The results here are almost the same as in Photoshop. The performance of Intel’s quad-core processors didn’t increase much since 2011, when Sandy Bridge microarchitecture came out.

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, Haswells’ advantage here is slightly higher than in other tests: more efficient Hyper-Threading technology starts to matter more. However, the performance difference between Core i7-4770K and Core i7-3770K is still measured in just a few single-digit percents.

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.

During H.264/AVC video transcoding Haswell receives the highest performance boost compared with the Ivy Bridge CPU on the same clock frequency. It equals 13% making Core i7-4770K faster than AMD FX-8350, which used to do better with transcoding tasks. Therefore, it looks like Haswell’s launch did manage to push back the AMD processors after all, making them even less appealing for the consumers. Obviously, now AMD just has to lower the prices of their Socket AM3+ processors yet again.

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, that is why we see a 15% advantage of the new processor over the predecessors. The advantage of Core i7-4770K over Core i7-3820 even exceeds 20%. However, during the entire test session we didn’t see any impressive performance boost, which we experienced in synthetic tests. Unfortunately, contemporary software doesn’t yet support AVX2/FMA3 even though FMA3 set has already been supported by AMD processors for over a year now.

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