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Performance in Multi-Threaded Tasks

The new Business Winstone 2004 test package allows evaluating the performance of the tested systems under multi-threaded workload, which is created by a few simultaneously running applications. Since the CPUs we tested support Hyper-Threading technology, which speeds them up when they process multiple threads at a time, we couldn’t help taking a closer look at their performance in this type of benchmarks.

In this test we use the regular file copying as a background process. At the same time, we measure the systems performance in Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer applications. As we can see, this combination of applications Is no serious workload for AMD processors, which do not support Hyper-Threading. However, the results obtained in this test are quite funny, I should say. Pentium 4 processors on the good old Northwood core demonstrate the highest performance of all. They outperform not only the new Prescott, but also the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition!

Now let’s find out what happens under a serious multi-threaded workload.

In this case the background process is a more serious task: the working WinZIP archiving utility. At the same time we have Word and Excel running. It looks as if this is the best chance for Hyper-Threading technology to show what it is really worth. However, all the upper part of the diagram belongs to AMD processors. As for the competition between Northwood and Prescott, the latter copes with the task a bit faster than its predecessor.

This is actually the hardest test, as we have Norton AntiVirus software running in the background and the whole bunch of office applications, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft FrontPage and WinZip. And only in this case Intel processors supporting Hyper-Threading manage to defeat AMD competitors and become indisputable winners. This way, it is evident that AMD Athlon 64 processors can easily cope with simple multi-threaded tasks. However, when it comes to more serious workloads, Hyper-Threading technology proves highly efficient.

I would also like to note that here Prescott is again faster than Northwood. No wonder actually. First, it boasts improved Hyper-Threading technology compared with that in Northwood. And second, larger cache-memory helps a lot for simultaneous processing of several tasks, because the processor resources are split for all tasks in progress.

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