Intel Springdale Showdown

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Intel Springdale Showdown - Page 7

The Springdale Showdown
Which board should you "spring" for?

Brought to you by Robert Maloney
July 10, 2003

PCMark 2002
Synthetic CPU and Memory Bandwidth Testing

One benchmark from Futuremark that we have become accustomed to using here is PCMark 2002. This test performs a series of intensive tasks such as image compression, text searches, and audio conversion to give us three scores: CPU, Memory, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD).   It also is a relatively quick process for comparing the performance of two or more systems.  We ran PCMark2002's "CPU" and "Memory" performance modules on all of the test systems, again with the CPU clocked at its default speed of 2.40GHz. 

PCMark2002's CPU performance module had the Asus P4P800 just narrowly edging MSI's 865PE Neo2.  From there, the Abit IS7 came in third, then the Chaintech 9PJL, and finally the Albatron 865PE Pro II.  Again, one only needs to look at the actual front side bus speeds to see that the top boards had the highest base speeds, and vice versa.  At a total difference from top to bottom of 1%, we can call this test a virtual tie as well.

Memory Test Technical details: (Quote Taken From Futuremark)

Raw read, write, and read-modify-write operations are performed starting from a 3072 kilobytes array decreasing in size to 1536 KB, 384 KB, 48 KB and finally 6 KB. Each size of block is tested two second and the amount of accessed data is given as result. In the STL container test a list of 116 byte elements is constructed and sorted by an integer pseudo-random key. The list is then iterated through as many times as possible for 2 seconds and the total size of the accessed elements is given as result. There are 6 runs of this test, with 24576 items in the largest run corresponding to a total data amount of 1536 KB, decreasing in size to 12288 items (768 KB), 6144 items (384 KB), 1536 items (96 KB), 768 items (48 KB) and 96 items in the smallest run corresponding to 6 KB of total data.

Here we saw larger differences between the leaders and the rest of the pack.  Asus and Abit have apparently not only "cracked the code", but have done so in a convincing manner.  While MSI and Albatron both have a memory performance mode option in their BIOS, their implementation did not provide as big of a boost.  Chaintech's 9PJL did not have any such optimization, landing in fifth place, a full 15% behind the top boards. 
Business & Content Creation Winstones
Simulated Application Performance

To test "Real World" application performance, we used eTesting Labs' Business and Content Creation Winstone 2002 benchmarks.  We'll directly quote ZD's eTestingLabs website for an explanation as to how Business Winstone 2002 derives its score. (Content Creation Winstone 2002 uses the same process, but the scripted activities are comprised of different, more bandwidth hungry applications.):

"Business Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's top-selling Windows-based 32-bit applications on Windows 98, Windows 2000 (SP2 or later), Windows Me, or Windows XP. Business Winstone doesn't mimic what these packages do; it runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete those activities to produce its performance scores."

Business Winstone Applications:
  • Five Microsoft Office 2002 applications
    (Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Word)

  • Microsoft Project 2000

  • Lotus Notes

  • WinZip 8.0

  • Norton Antivirus

  • Netscape Communicator

Content Creation Winstone Applications:
  • Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1

  • Adobe Premiere 6.0

  • Macromedia Director 8.5

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev 4

  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder

  • Netscape Navigator 6/6.01

  • Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 5.0c (build 184)

The Asus P4P800 was at or near the top of the pack in each test, while the other four settled in right behind it.  The Business Winstone test is highly CPU and hard drive limited, and the higher clocked boards found themselves near the top.  The only real note to make was how the Chaintech board was nearly a point behind in each of the tests.  We are beginning to see some trends in performance testing, but how does this translate to gaming?

Gaming and 3DMark benchmarks

Tags:  Intel, WD, DOW, Show, SHO, spring

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