Paradigm SHIFT: MainGear's Unique Gaming Rig Tested

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SiSoft Sandra

We began testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, which stands for System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. These are synthetic tests where we expect to see the Shift make the most of its extra cores and higher clockspeed.

Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2010 SP1
Synthetic Benchmarks


Origin Genesis: Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, Maingear Shift: Core i7 980X @ 4.2GHz

The Shift's basic arithmetic performance is a further testament to the strength of Intel's Core i7 architecture. Intel's 32nm Gulftown processor doesn't contain any architectural special sauce that boost its efficiency over the Origin's 45nm chip, but an extra two cores and 400MHz are a potent combination.

Origin Genesis: Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, Maingear Shift: Core i7 980X @ 4.2GHz
Again, we see the same pattern here. CPU-dependent applications are where the Shift shines brightest. Clockspeed isn't everything, but MainGear packed 25.2GHz worth of processing power into a single ATX tower. Pay no attention to the drool collecting on the keyboard. If you're wondering about the difference between the arithmetic and multimedia tests, it's laid out in Sandra's help file. Both benchmarks measure CPU performance, but the Dhrystone/Whetstone benchmarks measure a processor's raw capability to execute integer or floating point instructions. Sandra's multimedia suite is designed to test the various SIMD capabilities of a processor. In the company's own words: The test involves the generation of Mandelbrot Set fractals that are used to realistically describe and generate natural objects such as mountains or clouds. By using various multi-media extensions better performance is achieved.

Origin Genesis: Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, Maingear Shift: Core i7 980X @ 4.2GHz
Finally, we've got Sandra's memory bandwidth analysis. The gap here is a bit over ten percent, which is less significant than it seems. Consumer applications and games are typically more latency-sensitive, than bandwidth-sensitive. The Core i7's integrated memory controller and three channels of DDR3 deliver amply in both categories. 

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