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Testbed and Methods

At this moment we have both in our labs: Athlon 64 processors supporting AMD64 as well as Pentium 4 processors supporting EM64T technology. Therefore, it was really exciting to see how efficient and fast the new Windows XP Professional x64 Edition operating system could be on systems built around different CPUs. First of all we decided to pay attention to the fact if the use of 32-bit applications in the 64-bit OS causes any performance slow-down. Secondly, we tried to estimate how big is the benefit from porting 32-bit applications for the 64-bit architecture. And thirdly, we compared the efficiency of the 64-bit extensions implemented in the CPUs from two eternal rivals: AMD and Intel.

Our test platforms were configured as follows:

  • CPUs:
    • AMD Athlon 64 3800+;
    • Intel Pentium 4 3.6GHz with EM64T support.
  • Mainboards:
    • EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra (NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra);
    • Intel Desktop Board D925XECV2 (i925XE Express).
  • Memory:
    • 1024MB DDR400 SDRAM (Corsair CMX512-3200XLPRO, 2 x 512MB, 2-2-2-10);
    • 1024MB DDR2-533 SDRAM (OCZ PC2 4300, 2 x 512MB, 4-4-4-10).
  • Graphics card: Leadtek WinFast PX6800 TDH (NVIDIA GeForce 6800).
  • Storage subsystem: Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB (SATA150).

The installation of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition was successfully completed on both systems without any problems.

All the drivers needed for our test systems, including those for the NVIDIA nForce4 chipset and the graphics card, are available on the manufacturers’ web-sites. That is why we didn’t have any problems during the system setup. Therefore, let me go directly to the benchmarks results and answers to the questions set above.

 
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