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Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoftware Sandra XII (2008)

We very rarely use Sandra benchmarks for processor performance analysis. However, this time we decided to make an exception. Simple synthetic benchmarks from this testing suite, which do not depend dramatically on the size and structural peculiarities of the CPU’s cache-memory, may help us estimate the important and efficiency of the micro-architectural improvements introduced in Penryn CPUs.

We see the largest 17% advantage in the integer multimedia test. This is a pretty illustrative moment as this test is the only one of all using new SSE4 instructions. In other words, this benchmark demonstrates very clearly that another expansion of the SIMD instructions set in the new Penryn processors can really improve the optimized applications performance if used wisely. We can also see a significant performance boost in the arithmetic floating-point benchmark, that Yorkfield processor owes to the new Fast Radix-16 Divider unit.

The practical memory bandwidth tests also reveal pretty noticeable performance improvement, although it is not as big this time. It should be the larger L2 cache that affects these results.

According to the results of Sandra XII, we can expect the new quad-core 45nm processors to demonstrate a significant advantage even when running on the same clock speed as their predecessors, only thanks to the above discussed micro-architectural improvements. However, synthetic benchmark results are not enough to make any far-fetching conclusions. These tests usually stress certain processor features more than others. Only the tests in real tasks will give us an idea of the actual state of things. So let’s move on to them now.

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