PCMark04: Processor & Memory
For our next round 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."
As expected, all four of the boards performed at similar levels in PCMark04's CPU performance module. In this test, the ABIT AV8 finished in first place, followed by the MSI K8T, the Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939, and the MSI K8N. But only 53 points separated the first and last place finishers in this test, so we can hardly say one is any faster than the other. 53 points falls well within the margin of error in this test.
"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."
We saw more of the same when testing with PCMark04's memory performance module. Once again, the four motherboards in this roundup performed at very similar levels, with only a few percentage points separating the "fastest" and "slowest" boards. In stark contrast to SiSoft's Memory Bandwidth Benchmark, though, PCMark04 asserts that the K8T800 Pro-based boards have an advantage over the nForce3s. You've got to love synthetic tests...