For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's brand new PCMark05. We just recently began working with PCMark 05 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.
The PCMark05 CPU benching results were right on par with each other; there's a scant difference of only six points that separate the two systems. The SD31P may be small in stature, but it will put up numbers that keep performance on the same level as the "big boys".
"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 memory performance results were also close, as the SD31P managed to slip past the Gigabyte 8I945P-G by nine points. These performance deltas are minimal enough that we can't realistically declare a winner. While we used to compromise space for performance in the past with Shuttle's XPC line, it appears that line of thinking is now a thing of the past.