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The ‘Task Manager Paradox’ In Windows 7

AMD: 2D Performance Progress in Windows 7 With Catalyst 10.4?
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In direct graphics output to the display, we noticed that the results deviated from the average here and there, despite identical hardware and identical test conditions, but then later leveled back to the same results again. We tried to reconstruct this paradox and things pointed us to the Task Manager.

After our first two articles, we received countless emails reporting connections between the irregular test results and having the Task Manager open. Therefore, we chose the term ‘Task Manager paradox’ as a working title for this issue. We used our test system to compare the overall results in our Tom2D benchmark, using cards from both graphics companies. We did five runs on each, with and without the Task Manager open. The results confirm the initial assumptions quite clearly:

This simple test shows that having the Task Manager open leads to reproducible higher benchmark results for both graphic cards. We found that the consolidated 2D performance increases of the Nvidia card were greater than those of the ATI card. We realize that this statement is way too general, so we had a closer look at each of the benchmark subcategories. Test candidate number one is our ATI Radeon HD 5870:

Only the two values for the polygons and the stretching are considerably different on the Radeon HD 5870. The other results are at approximately the same level as without the Task Manager. As seen in the previous graph, the overall combined difference is so small that it is irrelevant.

Next, we tested the Nvidia card and were curious to find out what benchmark sub categories resulted in the 17% overall performance increase. The results are somewhat surprising:

Compared to the Radeon HD 5870, the GeForce GTX 285 sees an even higher performance increase in the polygon and stretching tests, as well as a staggering 72% extra blitting performance.

But what is the explanation behind the very significant performance improvements in some of these tests? Looking at the features that Windows 7 can actually accelerate in hardware, only blitting and stretching are affected. The polygon performance, which showed a nice bump as well, does not fit in here. And the Task Manager in itself is a bad explanation. Clearly, there has to be another reason.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 10:13 AM
    Keep doing those 2D testing. It's important for many users.
  • 13 Hide
    Poisoner , June 2, 2010 7:16 AM
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    What was insane about his post?
  • 12 Hide
    Onus , June 2, 2010 10:12 AM
    Just because he applied the sarcasm with a mortar rather than a butter knife does not make TA152H's post insane.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , June 2, 2010 6:32 AM
    Well, Microsoft creating an even slower operating system than their previous one is a company tradition. Bloated, slow, buggy software is something they take seriously, and it's not up to companies like AMD or Nvidia to take this privilege from Microsoft. People like it - they keep buying it.

    It's a pity OS/2 never made it. Windows needs real competition. Look what the K8 did to Intel.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 6:45 AM
    Lines, ellipses, and polygons are rarely, if ever, used in window system toolkits from the last 5-7 years. You will likely never see them used other than in specialized benchmarks. They are an API vestige of days long past.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 6:49 AM
    Am I missing something? 10.5 is the most recent
  • 13 Hide
    Poisoner , June 2, 2010 7:16 AM
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    What was insane about his post?
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 7:29 AM
    Does Catalyst 10.5 bring anything new to the table?
  • 10 Hide
    spidey180 , June 2, 2010 7:35 AM
    Keep up the good work ATI.
  • 5 Hide
    FUtomNOreg , June 2, 2010 8:41 AM
    Now where did I put that PCMag Winbench CD?????
  • 3 Hide
    outlw6669 , June 2, 2010 9:26 AM
    Quote:
    Does Catalyst 10.5 bring anything new to the table?

    You can now over/underclock while running multiple displays without tearing on the second monitor....
    Other than that, looks to be just a few minor bug fixes.
  • 0 Hide
    crazybaldhead , June 2, 2010 9:42 AM
    Yes, this article needs to be updated for 10.5. Also with the newest drivers, my 4870's GPU clock idles at 600 Mhz and not at 450 Mhz like it used to.
    Upping the idle clock frequencies is not a solution to the 2d performance problem, more like a *simple* workaround.
  • 12 Hide
    Onus , June 2, 2010 10:12 AM
    Just because he applied the sarcasm with a mortar rather than a butter knife does not make TA152H's post insane.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 10:13 AM
    Keep doing those 2D testing. It's important for many users.
  • 1 Hide
    cushgod , June 2, 2010 12:20 PM
    10.5 Catalyst is out. Is that even better? Maybe a follow up article.
  • 0 Hide
    juliom , June 2, 2010 12:25 PM
    crazybaldheadYes, this article needs to be updated for 10.5. Also with the newest drivers, my 4870's GPU clock idles at 600 Mhz and not at 450 Mhz like it used to. Upping the idle clock frequencies is not a solution to the 2d performance problem, more like a *simple* workaround.


    Since you don't even know that the 4870 idles at 500 MHz (not 450), double check the 600 MHz you think you saw.
  • 1 Hide
    invlem , June 2, 2010 12:35 PM
    the greater goodTA152H, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


    ... Now I'm going to have to watch that movie again (Billy Madison)
  • 1 Hide
    sohei , June 2, 2010 12:51 PM
    competition is good ...bravo ATI
  • 0 Hide
    misry , June 2, 2010 12:57 PM
    Cushgod10.5 Catalyst is out. Is that even better? Maybe a follow up article.


    While it is only an incremental u/g it is still worth taking. From a practical standpoint, I found 10.4 made the installation of a (no cost) 4350 card to supplant my built-in 4200 chip "worth it". Prior to 10.4 I seemed to get better performance from the 4200. Afterward, while performance remains the same, given a high side margin of error, using the 4350 now notably off-loads tasks from the CPU *and* frees system memory.
  • 1 Hide
    crazybaldhead , June 2, 2010 2:17 PM
    Quote:
    Since you don't even know that the 4870 idles at 500 MHz (not 450), double check the 600 MHz you think you saw.


    Hate to give in to trolls, but hey, here you go;

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