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 1.1 GB total size.

The latest WinRAR runs well on multi-core processors, yet the quad-core Trinity APUs are anyway slower than the dual-core Core i3 CPUs that support Hyper-Threading. On the other hand, AMD's A10 and A8 series are much faster than the Pentium and Celeron CPUs which in their turn are ahead of the dual-core AMD A6 and A4 in terms of data compression speed.

To check out audio transcoding performance, we use Nero AAC Encoder to convert a grabbed CD into the AAC format. This encoder (like the majority of tools for converting audio files) generates single-threaded load only.

The Piledriver microarchitecture employed in modern AMD processors can't offer competitive single-threaded performance. Intel's solutions are much faster at such loads. As you can see, encoding audio goes faster on the dual-core Celeron than on the quad-core A10 which is 50% faster in terms of clock rate and 50% more expensive to the bargain.

Web application performance was benchmarked using RoboHornet, a browser test that makes use of all modern resource-consuming web technologies. This test was run in Google Chrome 24.

Today’s web-browsers are known to support multi-core CPUs but formally. For example, even though each Chrome tab is processed as a separate instruction thread, the web application or page in the forefront will only use one CPU core. The Trinity series can’t be expected to deliver high performance under such conditions, so the Ivy Bridge processors crunch through the single-threaded load much faster.

We benchmark CPUs in Adobe Photoshop CS6 using our custom test that is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

AMD’s hybrid APUs can’t boast high performance in Adobe Photoshop, either, even though this popular image-editing application often generates multi-threaded load. Once again we see that the fastest processor for the Socket FM2 platform is slower than the Celeron G1620, one of the junior products for the LGA1155 platform based on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.

In order to measure how fast our testing participants can transcode a video into H.264 format we used x264 FHD Benchmark 1.0.1 (64 bit). It works with an original MPEG-4/AVC video recorded in 1920x1080@50fps resolution with 30 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.

Video transcoding is one of the few scenarios where the Piledriver microarchitecture can show its best. AMD’s quad-core solutions are ahead of the Core i3 series here by up to 15% if we compare the flagship A10-5800K with the similarly priced Core i3-3220. The dual-core Trinity modifications do not share the success of their quad-core cousins, falling behind both the Pentium and the Celeron.

We use special Cinebench 11.5 benchmark to test final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D suite.

Rendering is yet another kind of multithreaded computing load which is mostly done on the CPU’s integer subunits. It is in such situations that the senior Trinity modifications can challenge the Core i3 series. However, they do not have any substantial advantage even now, under favorable conditions. The senior A10 series APUs are only as fast as the junior members of the Core i3 series. The A8 APUs are in between the Core i3 and the Pentium series in performance whereas the A6 and A4 APUs are much slower than the Pentium and the Celeron, just like in the other tests.

The next diagram shows one of the intermediate results of the Futuremark 3DMark11 benchmark – Physics Score. This parameter shows how fast the testing participants can cope with a special physics test emulating the behavior of a complex system with a large number of objects.

Although this load can be easily distributed among multiple processing cores, the AMD A10 and A8 processors with twice the number of x86 cores available in their Intel opponents cannot show a high result. The weak spot of the Trinity design is that each dual-core Piledriver module contains but one floating-point subunit which is required for physics processing. That's why the Core i3 series is faster than the quad-core processors for the Socket FM2 platform whereas the dual-core A6 and A4 APUs are inferior in speed to the modern models from the Pentium and Celeron series.

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