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Test System And Benchmarks

Part 2: How Many CPU Cores Do You Need?

Here is our test system:

System Hardware
Processor #1
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
3.2 GHz, FSB-200, 2000 MHz HT link, 6 MB Cache.
Processor #2
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition
o/c to 3.2 GHz, FSB-200, 2000 MHz HT link, 6 MB Cache.
PlatformAsus M4A78T-E rev. 1.xx
790GX chipset, SB750 southbridge, BIOS rev. 1001
RAMG.Skill F3-10666CL7-2GBPK (2 x 2 GB)
DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1338 CAS 9-9-9-24-33-1T
Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB
7,200 RPM, 32 MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s
Onboard Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsGigabyte GV-N250ZL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Power Supply
Ultra HE1000X, ATX 2.2, 1000W
Software and Drivers
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX Version
DirectX 10
Graphics Driver Forceware 186.18

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Games


Quality settings set to lowest, Object Detail to High, Physics to Very High, version 1.2.1, 1024x768, Benchmark tool, 3-run average

Left 4 Dead

Quality settings set to lowest, 1024x768, version, timed demo.

World in Conflict

Quality settings set to lowest, 1024x768, Patch 1.009, Built-in benchmark.

Audio Encoding


Version:, Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 (64-bit), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s

Video Encoding


Version:, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.5

Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-Threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.2.1

Display encoding status=off

MainConcept Reference 1.6.1

MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core


Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2009 (64-bit)

Version: 2009, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Grisoft AVG Antivirus 8

Version: 8.0.134, Virus base : 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

WinRAR 3.80

Version 3.80, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

WinZip 12

Version 12, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3

CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

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