The Business Winstone 2002 test measured the system performance in typical office applications like MS Word and Excel. However, the memory subsystem speed contributes a lot to the overall result in this benchmark. For example, we may note that Pentium 4 3.0GHz with faster memory turns to be a preferable solution over Pentium 4 3.2GHz with slower memory. This fact also suggests that you should see to the quality of the memory with no less attention than to the selection of the central processor.
Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003 tests the system performance in digital content creation tasks. This test includes applications for processing images, video and audio. As you see, we have dramatically different results here. Thus, Pentium 4 3.2GHz with the slowest memory outperforms Pentium 4 3.0GHz with DDR400 SDRAM and 2-2-2-5 timings. The fastest Pentium 4 3.0GHz platform only matches the performance of the Pentium 4 3.2GHz one when the latter uses DDR320 SDRAM in the asynchronous mode.
Data compression in the popular WinRAR program is a curious test. We see that the bandwidth and latency of the CPU-memory highway is crucial for the total result here. For example, Pentium 4 3.0GHz falls behind Pentium 4 3.2GHz by 3% only (when the same memory timings are used). Meanwhile, the difference between “good” and “bad” DDR400 SDRAM may reach 22%, in case all other system characteristics are equal.
Although video encoding into MPEG4 format also involves data compression, the results differ much from what we have seen in WinRAR. As Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003 showed us, that the CPU speed is an important factor for video encoding. Thus, Pentium 4 3.0GHz with the fastest memory always performs worse than the Pentium 4 3.2GHz platform with any memory, no matter how slow it is.