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.
PCMark05's CPU performance module is a multi-threaded test that benefits from not only the second core on the Pentium Extreme Edition 955, but the fact that each core is Hyper-Threading enabled. That makes the 955XE appear as four virtual 3.46GHz processors to a benchmark like this one, hence the high score. According to PCMark05 the 955XE outscores AMD's flagship Athlon 64 4800+ by almost 1100 points, or approximately 22%.
"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.
The scores reported by PCMark05's memory performance module are all over the map for a couple of reasons. The single-core Athlon 64-FX57 and 3.73GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition post the highest scores because they don't share a memory controller with a second execution core. and the Pentium Extreme Edition 955's higher-clocked bus (1066MHz vs. 800MHz) allow it to jump way ahead of the 840XE, placing it third in this test.