PCMark05: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark05. We incorporated PCMark05 into our benchmark suite soon after its release, and have found it to be even more robust, in terms of test features, than its predecessor. That said, the CPU and Memory test modules we use for comparison are very similar to the 04 version of the test suite. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got 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. 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.
From this point forward, we'll be comparing the performance of the Asus AR832-MVP / CrossFire Xpress 3200 to systems powered by the Radeon Xpress 200, nForce 4 SLIX16, and Intel's 975X Express chipsets. All of the AMD based systems were equipped with the same AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ CPU, Corsair DDR RAM, and video card, but the Intel based system was equipped with a Pentium Extreme Edition 955 and Corsair DDR2 RAM.
In PCMark05's CPU performance module, the Intel system had a clear advantage over the AMD rigs. The AMD based systems all performed within a few percentage points of one another though.
"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.
PCMark05's memory performance module had all of the AMD based systems performing similarly. Disregarding the Intel based system, the nForce 4 SLIX16 based rig came in with the highest score here, followed closely behind by the CrossFire Xpress 3200 and then the Radeon Xpress 200. Only 48 points separated the "fastest" from the "slowest" AMD system in this test though.