PCMark04: CPU & Memory
For our next round of synthetic 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 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. 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."
From this point forward, we'll be comparing the performance of Shuttle SN25P XPC to a trio of full-sized systems, all powered by various versions of the nForce 4 chipset. Two of the reference systems were equipped with the exact same CPU and supporting hardware, and the other was powered by a 3.73GHz P4 EE and 1GHz of DDR2-667 RAM.
As you can see, PCMark's CPU performance module had the Pentium 4 / nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition rig solidly in the lead, followed by the three A64 powered systems. The SN25P actually took the top spot, but all of the Athlon based systems finished within a fraction of a percent of one another.
"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."
PCMark's memory performance module also had the Pentium 4 finishing well ahead of the other systems, but this time the succession of Athlons was reversed. In this test, the SN25P XPC came in just behind the other AMD based nForce 4 platforms, but again the performance delta separating the three A64 powered systems was quite small.