compare CPUs

hi, all.

just wondering, how the heck can one judge how powerful a CPU is?

I see there are 4 things to consider:

1) L2 cache
2) L3 cache
3) Clock speed
4) Front side bus

L2/L3 cache if I understand correctly is fast-access memory for operations.

then, clock speed is how many cycles per second the CPU supports, and I used to judge a CPU from that. however, I read that it's not really the number of cycles, but more how many operations in one cycle.

Front side bus is I guess how much data is transferred at once.

ok, so is there like a formula that one can apply to calculate and compare CPU power/speed, like getting gigaflops or whatever.

for instance, something like this: p = (L2+L3) * clock speed * FSB

thanks!!! :bounce:
5 answers Last reply
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  1. no one?
  2. trapach said:

    1) L2 cache
    2) L3 cache
    3) Clock speed
    4) Front side bus


    There's a lot more to it than that, A LOT.

    The only way to really judge a CPU is to look at benchmarks. The Pentium 4 comes to mind when people erroneously judge a CPU based solely on specs.

    The Pentium 4 clocked much higher and had much more cache (2-3X as much) as the competing Athlon 64 yet it was wasted by the Athlon just about every time. The Athlon simply had a more efficient design that didn't have an easily marketable tech spec that could measure it.
  3. thanks, turboflame!

    can you suggest any website to look at benchmarks?

    I guess this site, uh?
  4. trapach said:
    thanks, turboflame!

    can you suggest any website to look at benchmarks?

    I guess this site, uh?


    Yeah, this site is pretty good. There are also plenty of other sites like Anandtech.com and Xbitlabs.com which benchmark new hardware.

    THG keeps a couple of big lists of benchmarks right here: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/
  5. thanks a 1000!
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