PCMark04: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark04. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes directly 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."
The most obvious aspect of the above graph is the similar performance of the Athlon 64 4000+, FX-53, and the 3800+. Because all three of these processors are clocked at the same speed, they perform similarly in this test, regardless of cache size. The FX-55, with its 200MHz clock speed advantage over the other Athlons, came in about 8% ahead of the 4000+, FX-53, and 3800+, but the Pentium 4's much higher clock speeds put them in the lead in this test.
"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."
PCMark04's memory performance module had all of the systems, with the exception of the FX-55, performing near the same level. Only 101 "points" separated the lowest score (Pentium 4 Extreme Edition) from the second place score (Athlon 64 4000+). In fact, the scores were so similar that only one point separated the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560 from the 4000+. The Athlon 64 FX-55, though, was the king of the hill in this test. Its higher-clocked on-die memory controller gave it the advantage here.