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 though, 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 DFI's, Asus' and ECS' CrossFire Xpress 1600 based motherboards to an nForce 4 SLIX16 board and an Intel D975XBX. The nForce 4 SLIX16 board was powered by the very same Athlon 64 X2 4800+ processor as the three products that are the focus of this article, but the Intel board was powered by a Pentium Extreme Edition 955, hence the major difference in the benchmark results in some tests.
As you can see, the three CrossFire Xpress based boards all performed similarly in PCMark05's CPU performance module. The Asus board held onto an statistically insignificant lead, followed by the ECS board and then the DFI RDX200 CF-DR. The nForce 4 SLIX16 based Asus A8N32-SLI, however, finished slightly ahead of all of the CrossFire Xpress boards.
"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.
Our results from PCMark05's memory benchmark mirror those of the CPU performance module. The Asus board came in just barely ahead of ECS KA1 MVP, followed by the DFI RDX200 CF-DR. The nForce 4 board once again came in just ahead of all three of the CrossFire Xpress 1600 based products though.