PCMark05: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark05.
"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 test runs a series of multi-threaded processing workloads and it heavily favors the Pentium EE 965 in this test. This is mainly due to Intel Hyperthreading in conjunction with dual CPU cores in the Extreme Edition 965. The test actually benefits from four virtual processors in this configuration for Intel. However, it's difficult to say that PCMark05's CPU test can be directly tied to real-world performance. Beyond that, things stack up rather interestingly for the AM2-based Athlon 64s and their socket 939 FX-60 brethren. The 5000+ shows parity with the FX-60 and notably the AM2 version of the FX-60 clocked in just slightly ahead of the S939 version. We should note that there is no socket AM2 version of the Athlon 64 FX-60 rather we achieved this setup by down-clocking the FX-62 to 2.6GHz. Speaking of which, the AM2 Athlon 64 FX-62 shows approximately a 7.5% performance gain over a the FX-60 for socket 939 with standard DDR1 memory.
"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.
Quick analysis tells you there's a 10% performance advantage for DDR2-800 on the nForce 590 versus standard DDR-400 on the nForce 4. Furthermore the NF590 shows a small performance advantage over the RD580 board we tested for AM2. The Athlon 64 X2 5000+, with its 742MHz DDR2 memory speed, due to the clock divisors rounding we showed you earlier, brings up the rear for the AM2 set but still is able to offer about 5% more memory bandwidth according to PCMark05, which again, also measures CPU cache throughput.