Articles: CPU

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Office Applications

Business Winstone test emulates the user’s work in the following popular apps: Microsoft Access 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft FrontPage 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Project 2002, Microsoft Word 2002, Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition 2003 and WinZip 8.1.

Note that the applications alternate, so that multi-threading is not involved here. That is why dual-core processor run as fast in this test as single-core ones working at the same clock frequency. And this inevitably means that our today’s hero, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 will be slower than any of the top CPUs participating in this test session.

However, it is a pretty frequent thing that we have a couple of office applications running simultaneously. The diagram below shows if Intel’s dual-core processor turns out efficient in this case:

Here we measure the performance in Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer while there is file copying occurring in the background.

Well, the results show that file copying is not a complicated task, so dual-core architecture doesn’t offer any noticeable benefits here. The performance of our Pentium Extreme Edition 840 is again at the very end of the list.

The next test a little bit more complicated. Here we have files being archived in the background with the Winzip utility, while the hypothetic user is working in Word and Excel.

As you can see, dual-core processors start showing their best here. At least, Pentium Extreme Edition 840 manages to outperform even a single core Pentium 4 XE 3.73GHz. Unfortunately, this is still not enough to compete successfully with AMD processors, which win here. This is true even for the single-core Athlon 64 solutions.

As the tasks running in the background become more complex, the advantages of dual-core architecture begin showing more. Here the test emulates the user’s work in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft FrontPage and WinZip, while there is antivirus software working in the background.

Two physical and two virtual cores of the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 processor allow it to run faster than the single-core Pentium 4 (even though the latter supports Hyper-Threading technology). So, it looked like the dual-core Intel processor could actually have become a winner here, if it hadn’t been for the strongest competitor from AMD – the dual-core Athlon 64 X2. The rival managed to show much better results in this test.

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