PCMark04: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark04. As a backdrop with respect to this synthetic benchmark suite, here are 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."
With certain parts of PCMark 04's CPU test designed to take advantage of multithreaded compute resources, the two dual core CPUs in this synthetic test show the potential that lies within for multi-core architectures. The Athlon 64 X2 4800+ takes the lead by a sizeable margin however, besting the Pentium 840 by over 10%.
And here's a bit of detail on what tests comprise the Futuremark PCMark04 Memory Test module...
"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."
Unfortunately our Athlon 64 X2 4800+ test-bed failed this test and reported an error in the "Raw Block Write 4MB" portion of the test only. Without it, PCMark won't give you a final score. We alerted AMD to the issue but haven't received a response as of yet. Other than this test, we should note however, that the new Athlon 64 X2 4800+ was rock solid stable throughout the remainder of our extensive testing. A simple observation here though will lead you to the conclusion that system bandwidth support by a higher speed front side bus, can really make a difference, which is apparent in the score we recorded for the Pentium 4 EE 3.73GHz system with its 1066MHz FSB.