AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 - Finally, An Enthusiast's Dual Core

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Again from more of a synthetic testing perspective, we have FutureMark's PCMark05 and specifically have run the suite's CPU and Memory test modules.  Our philosophy with respect to "synthetic" benchmarks, like PCMark05, is that while the end user doesn't have complete access to the applications or measurements that are run and tabulated in these various test scenarios, it does give a perspective of potential performance within a computing architecture and it's capabilities within a group of specific tasks.  Furthermore, synthetic testing sometimes affords the ability to provide a "look-ahead", if you will, of new usage models that perhaps do not exist in current applications available on the market.  All told, we feel synthetic benchmarks are a component of a complete product performance profile, targeted at complimenting critical real-world application testing.

Futuremark PCMark05
More Synthetic CPU and Memory Benchmarks

"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. The CPU Test Suite also includes multithreading: two of the test scenarios are run multithreaded; the other including two simultaneous tests and the other running four tests simultaneously. The remaining six tests are run single threaded. Operations include, File Compression/Decompression, Encryption/Decryption, Image Decompression, and Audio Compression..."

- Courtesy FutureMark Corp.


PCMark05's CPU performance module is a multi-threaded test that benefits from not only the second core on the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 but also Intel's HyperThreading technology, running more than two threads at time but potentially up to four, 2 logically per core. This makes the EE 955 appear as four virtual 3.46GHz processors to a benchmark like this one, hence the high score. According to PCMark05 the EE 955 outscores AMD's Athlon 64 FX-60 by 656 points, or approximately 12%.

"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." 

- Courtesy FutureMark Corp.


The scores reported by PCMark05's memory performance module are relatively mixed for various reasons. The single-core Athlon 64-FX 57 and 3.73GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition post the highest scores because they don't share a memory controller with a second hardware level execution core. Beyond that, it's all about CPU system bus speed and bandwidth, as well as system memory interface speed, bandwidth, and related latencies.  From strictly a dual-core performance perspective the two competing architectures are fairly well matched here, with a virtual dead heat between Intel's latest Pentium EE 955 and the AMD Athlon 64 FX-60.

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