FutureMark's PCMark04 & 3DMark03
FutureMark's PCMark04 is one of our staple "all-in-one" benchmarks. The software package focuses on four key areas of a system and returns a score for each. The test focuses on CPU, Memory, Graphics, and Hard Drive performance, although today we're going to narrow that down to CPU and Memory performance.
When we reflect on CPU performance of the two Sempron processors, we see that they couldn't quite keep up with the Pentium 4-C @ 2.4GHz. Whether we are looking at the 2800+ with integrated graphics or the 3100+ with a GeForce FX 5900 XT, the trend is the same, with the Semprons trailing by 10-13%.
From a memory perspective, the picture was different. With the Sempron 2800+, this is really a benchmark of the motherboard chipset and the processor because the memory controller lies within the northbridge. With the Sempron 3100+ and its integrated memory controller, however, the figures have a lot more weight. Here, the 3100+ managed to top the Pentium 4 test machine by a modest 50 points, hitting a peak of 3394.
3DMark03 offers the option to focus on a broad range of benchmarking statistics. While designed primarily as a video card testing tool, it also gives the ability to focus on specific areas, such as CPU performance. This is useful when it comes to assessing a motherboard's performance, gauging how efficiently the CPU is running.
Unfortunately, the ASUS A7N8X-VM/400 that AMD provided did not meet the requirements to run all of 3DMark03's tests, including the CPU modules. However, the Sempron 3100+ system had no problems with this test, topping the Pentium 4 by 18%. This was a solid lead over a processor that runs 600MHz faster.