For our next set of 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 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."
We expected to find that the CPU performance would be high, considering what we had just found with SANDRA, and were not let down in PCMark04. The Skyhawk PC gave us the highest CPU score out of the three Springdale based SFF PCs. While we generally find that differences in CPU benchmarks when using similar components can be attributed to certain engineering practices, we found that the Skyhawk's reported CPU score was 2.405 GHZ, slightly slower than the Epox eX5-320S's speed of 2.41GHz, yet it still beat it by 86 points.
"TheMemory 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."
The memory benchmark within PCMark04 gave us a big surprise, however. The expectations were that the Skyhawk and Shuttle would both be performing on the same level, and the Epox would place first, since it was the only system with some form of memory enhancement. Our testing found the Skyhawk machine coming in first once again, performing at nearly 2.5% better than the Epox eX5-320S.