For our next round of benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built-into Futuremark's relatively new PCMark04. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes from Futuremark that explain exactly what these tests do and how they work...
"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. There are nine tests in all. Two pairs of tests are run multithreaded - each test in the pair is run in its own thread. The remaining five tests are run single threaded. These tests include such functions as file encryption, decryption, compression and decompression, grammar check, audio conversion, WMV and DivX video compression."
It's clear that PCMark04's CPU performance module favors Intel's HyperThreading feature in the Pentium 4. It's also affected by raw clock speeds, which is why all of the Pentium 4s finished well ahead of the Athlons in this benchmark. Additionally, as you can note in our Northwood scores, this benchmark has a pretty small footprint memory wise and larger cache size have zero impact. As expected though, the Socket 939 FX-53 led the pack of Athlons by small margin, followed by the similarly clocked 3800+ and Socket 940 FX-53.
"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing."
All of the test systems performed similarly in PCMark04's memory performance module, with the exception being the Athlon 64 3400+. Its 64-bit memory controller performs well, but it simply can't keep up with the 128-bit FX's or the 3800+ in this synthetic test. Although the margins aren't huge, the FX-53s and 3800+ outperformed anything in the Intel camp as well, including the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition with it's 2.5MB of L2 and L3 cache.