Testbed and Methods
It makes perfect sense to test inexpensive processors in as realistic conditions as possible, namely in low-cost systems. Only in this case the obtained results acquire the maximum practical value. Therefore, for our today’s test session we took inexpensive MicroATX mainboards based on contemporary chipsets with integrated graphics and supporting DDR2 SDRAM. As a result, Intel solutions were tested on an Intel G45 Express platform and AMD ones – on an AMD 780G based one.
However, we had to make one exception and add a graphics card into our testbeds. This was necessary to check out the 3D gaming performance properly because we had to get away from the effect of the different graphics cores integrated into the chipsets. As for the detailed investigation of gaming performance on integrated platforms, you can always go back to our special article called “AMD vs. Intel: Integrated Platforms”.
As a result, we ended up with the following hardware and software components used to build our testbeds:
- AMD Athlon II X2 240 (Regor, 2 cores, 2.8 GHz, 2 x 1024 KB L2);
- AMD Athlon II X2 215 (Regor, 2 cores, 2.7 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2);
- AMD Athlon X2 5600+ (Brisbane, 2 cores, 2.9 GHz, 2 x 512 KB L2);
- AMD Sempron 140 (Sargas, 1 core, 2.7 GHz, 512 KB L2);
- Intel Pentium E5200 (Wolfdale, 2 cores, 2.5 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2);
- Intel Celeron E3300 (Wolfdale, 2 cores, 2.5 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2);
- Intel Celeron E1600 (Allendale, 2 cores, 2.4 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 512 KB L2);
- Intel Celeron 450 (Conroe-L, 1 core, 2.2 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 512 KB L2).
- Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H (Socket AM2+, AMD 780G + SB700, DDR2 SDRAM);
- Gigabyte GA-EG45M-UD2H (LGA775, Intel G45 Express, DDR2 SDRAM).
- Memory: 2 x 2 GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15 (GEIL GX24GB8500C5UDC).
- Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 4890.
- HDD: Western Digital WD3000HLFS.
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
- ATI Catalyst 9.11 Display Driver;
- Intel Graphics Driver 126.96.36.199.1986;
- INF Chipset Driver 188.8.131.529.
We have also adjusted the list of applications and benchmarks that we normally use for our performance tests. Since the systems based on inexpensive processors are rarely used as universal solutions and are mostly built for office tasks, internet surfing and simple games, we made sure that the focus was primarily on this type of tasks.