Synthetic Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage and 3DMark06
Formally, PCMark Vantage can only create four computational threads. Nevertheless, Intel Skulltrail system works faster in this benchmark with two quad-core processors. It may be explained by the fact that Vista’s intellectual task manager tries to distribute the threads to physically different processors, which in the end allows using L2 caches of the system shared between the core pairs more efficiently. However, it doesn’t help Intel Skulltrail to outperform a “regular” system with only one Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 CPU inside. The reason is simple: inefficient memory subsystem built with FB DIMM modules.
However, 3DMark06 benchmark puts Intel Skulltrail platform with two CPUs on top of their pedestal, which is especially noticeable in CPU test. No wonder, since it is very well optimized for multi-threaded environments, which we have already seen many times in our previous test sessions.
In fact, most contemporary video codecs can split computational workload into parallel threads quite successfully. However, as we see from the Xvid results, it is not always enough to ensure a significant performance improvement with more processors in the system. The bottleneck for this codec is evidently the memory subsystem, so that a single-CPU system with fast DDR3 SDRAM outperforms Intel Skulltrail. However x264 codec shows a completely different picture. Performance here is highly scalable depending on the number of CPUs in the system.