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, however, 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 in this showcase, we'll be comparing the performance of Asus' 975X Express chipset based motherboards to Intel's own D975XBX, and an AMD Athon 64 X2 4800+ powered Asus A8N32-SLI motherboard that's based on the NVIDIA nForce 4 SLIX16 chipset.
As you can see, PCMark05's CPU performance module had both of Asus' 975X Express based boards outperforming Intel's offering by a slight margin. The AMD powered system lagged behind by a measurable margin 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.
According to PCMark05's memory performance module, the Asus P5WD2-E Premium offers the best overall memory performance of the bunch, followed closely behind by the P5WDG2-WS. The Intel board and A8N32-SLI took the third and forth positions. The fact that Asus is marketing the P5WDG2-WS' as a workstation class product, probably led them to tweak the BIOS for maximum stability rather than peak performance, hence the slightly lower scores versus it's enthusiast-class counterpart here.