For our next round of benchmarks, we ran all of the modules built into Futuremark's PCMark Vantage test suite. Vantage is a new benchmarking tool that we've incorporated into our arsenal of tests here at HotHardware. Here's how Futuremark positions their new benchmarking tool:
"The PCMark Suite is a collection of various single- and multi-threaded CPU, Graphics and HDD test sets with the focus on Windows Vista application tests. Tests have been selected to represent a subset of the individual Windows Vista Consumer scenarios. The PCMark Suite includes CPU, Graphics, Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a subset of Consumer Suite tests."
The overall PCMark Vantage score is a weighted average of all of the modules in the Vantage suite calculated in total "PCMarks". Here are the results:
We've got a number of performance comparisons to make with Phenom from this point forward in this article. We've included scores from 2.4GHz Athlon X2, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Duo processors for clock-for-clock comparisons with the Phenom 9700, and have also included scores from the respective high-end processors in each camp. The most "apples to apples' comparison here is between the Phenom 9700 and Core 2 Quad Q6600 which are not only clocked at the same speed, but are expected to have similar price points.
According the PCMark Vantage, the new Phenom processors are a marked improvement over any Athlon 64 X2 processor, but they fall shy of the mark set by the Q6600. And of course, the higher-clocked Core 2 processors just extend Intel's lead.
For more detail, we've also got the results from the individual Vantage tests that are used to compile the final "score".
The PCMark Vantage "Memories" suite includes the following tests:
Memories 1 - Two simultaneous threads, CPU image manipulation and HDD picture import
Memories 2 - Two simultaneous threads, GPU image manipulation and HDD video editing
Memories 3 - Video Transcoding: DV to portable device
Memories 4 - Video Transcoding: media server archive to portable device
The performance trend in the 'Memories' test mirrors the overall result. The Phenoms best the Athlon 64 X2s, but fall victim to the Q6600.
Vantage TV and Movies suite includes the following tests:
TV and Movies 1 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback: HD DVD w/ additional lower bitrate HD content from HDD, as downloaded from the net
TV and Movies 2 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 19.39 Mbps terrestrial HDTV playback
TV and Movies 3 - HDD Media Center
TV and Movies 4 - Video transcoding: media server archive to portable device, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 48 Mbps Blu-ray playback
Vantage's 'TV and Movie' test tells a somewhat different story. In this test, the 2.4GHz Phenom edges out the similarly clocked Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 and hangs with the much higher clocked, pseudo quad-core Quad-FX 74 rig.
Courtesy, Futuremark: "Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for all ages. Today’s games demand high performance graphics cards and CPUs to avoid delays and sluggish performance while playing. Loading screens in games are yesterday’s news. Streaming data from an HDD in games – such as Alan Wake™ – allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action. CPUs with many cores give a performance advantage to gamers in real-time strategy and massively multiplayer games. Gaming Suite includes the following tests: "
Gaming 1 - GPU game test
Gaming 2 - HDD: game HDD
Gaming 3 - Two simultaneous threads, CPU game test, Data decompression: level loading
Gaming 4 - Three simultaneous threads, GPU game test, CPU game test, HDD: game HDD
PCMark Vantage's 'Gaming' test, which borrows assets from 3DMark06's game tests, also has the 2.4GHz Phenom 9700 outpacing the 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600, and this time it pulls ahead of the QuadFX FX-74 rig as well.