PCMark04: CPU & Memory Modules
For our next round of benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark04. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes 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. There are nine tests in all. Two pairs of tests are run multithreaded - each test in the pair is run in its own thread. The remaining five tests are run single threaded. These tests include such functions as file encryption, decryption, compression and decompression, grammar check, audio conversion, WMV and DivX video compression."
As expected, all four of the motherboards we tested performed at near identical levels in PCMark04's CPU performance module. With the same CPU installed in each board, running at the same clock speed, there is little chance of one motherboard outperforming another in synthetic test like this.
"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."
PCMark04's memory performance module also indicated that all four of the boards tested performed similarly. Because the Athlon 64's memory controller is on-chip, the motherboard's chipset has very little impact on memory performance. In this test, the VIA powered K8T Neo2-FIR has a slight advantage, followed by the WinFast 755FXK8AA-8EKRS, and then the two nForce 3 based boards.