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Test Setup

Dual-Core Versus Quad-Core: Part 2
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System Hardware
CPU IAMD Phenom X4 9350e (65 nm, 2.0 GHz, 2MB L2 + 2MB L3 Cache)
CPU IIIntel Core 2 Duo E8500 (45 nm, 3.16 GHz, 6MB L2 Cache)
AMD Chipset : 790XMSI K9A2 Platinum, Rev 1.0
AMD 790X, BIOS : V1.5
Intel Chipset : P45Asus P5Q-E, Rev. 1.01G
Intel P45, BIOS : 0702
RAM2x 2 GB DDR2-1066 Corsair CM2X2048-9136C5D
HDDWestern Digital Caviar WD5000AAKS, 500 GB
7,200 RPM, SATA/300, 16 MB cache
HDD for SYSmarkSeagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB
7,200 RPM, SATA/300, 32 MB cache
Blu-ray DriveLG GGW-H20L
Graphics CardGeCube Radeon HD 4850
GPU : 625 MHz
RAM : 512 MB GDDR3 (993 MHz)
Power SupplyCoolermaster, ATX 2.3, 850 Watt

System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 (Build 6000)
Operating System for SYSmarkWindows XP SP2
DirectX 10DirectX 10 (Vista default)
DirectX 9Version : April 2007
ATI Graphics DriversRadeon 8.7 (Vista & XP)
AMD Chipset DriversRAIDXpert 2.4
Intel ChipsetINF : 9.0.0.1008
JavaJava Runtime Environment 6.0 Update 1

Benchmarks and Settings

3D-Games Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
CrysisVersion : 1.2.1
Video Mode : 1680x1050
Overall Quality : low
Demo : CPU-Benchmark2 + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Unreal Tournament 3Version : 1.2
Video Mode : 1600x1200
Sound and DirectX10 ; Window off
Video Quality :
Texture Details : 1, Level Details : 1, Demo : vCTF-CONTAINMENT_fly
Time : 12/60
World in ConflictVersion : 1.0.0.9
Video Mode : 1680x1050 and 800x600
Video Quality : low details
Demo : Game-Benchmark
Supreme Commander
Forged Alliance
Version : 1.5.3599
Video Mode : 1920x1200
Video Quality : game default
Demo : WallaceTX_006_006
Benchmark : Fraps 2.9.4 - Build 7037
Start time 00:48:20 (60 seconds) realtime play

Audio Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
iTunesVersion : 7.7.0.43
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version 3.98
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to mp3
160 Kbps

Video Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
Pinnacle Studio 12 Version : 12.0.0.6163
Encoding and Transition Rendering
MPEG2 DV Camcorder Movie
Video : 720x576 Pixels, PAL, 25 fps, 6000 Kbits/sec
Audio : MPEG Layer 2, 224 Kbits/sec 16 Bit, Stereo 44.1 KHz
File Type : MPEG-2 (DVD Compatible)
TMPEG 4.5 Version : 4.5.1.254
Video : Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 5 Minutes
Audio : Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Channel, English
Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 kbps, 44.1 KHz)
DivX 6.8.3 Version : 6.8.3
- Main Menu -
default
- Codec Menu -
Encoding mode : Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading
Enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
- Video Menu -
Quantization : MPEG-2
XviD 1.1.3 Version : 1.1.3
- Other Options / Encoder Menu -
Display encoding status = off
Nero 8 Recode Version : 3.1.4.0
- Recode an Entire DVD to DVD
- convert DVD-9 to DVD5
- all default settings
Benchmark
- High quality mode (slow recording)
- disable video preview
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1
Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1
Version : 1.5.1
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 kbps)
Codec : H.264
Mode : PAL (25 FPS)
Profile : Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV
Mainconcept H.264 Plugin 3.2
Windows Media Encoder 9.1 AP HDTV
Windows Audio Encoder 10 Pro
Version : 3.0
NTSC MPEG2-HDTV 1920x1080 (24 sec)
Import : Mainconcept NTSC HDTV 1080i
Export : Adobe Media Encoder
- Video -
Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile
Encoding Passes : one
Bitrate Mode : Constant
Frame : 1920x1080
Frame Rate : 29.97
Maximum Bitrate [kbps] : 2000
Image Quality : 50.00
- Audio -
Windows Media Audio 10 Professional
Encoding Passes : one
Bitrate Mode : Constant
Audio Format : 160 kbps, 44.1 kHz, 2 channel 16 bit (A/V) CBR
HD Playback (Blue Ray) PowerDVD 8
Blue Ray - Disc (James Bond - Casino Royale)
Video Mode : 1920x1080p (full screen)
Codec : H.264

Application Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8Version : 8.0.134
Virus base : 270.4.5/1533
Benchmark
Scan : some compressed ZIP and RAR archives
Winrar 3.80Version 3.70 BETA 8
WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096 KB
Benchmark : THG-Workload
WinZIP 11Version 11.2
Compression = Best
Benchmark : THG-Workload
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9Version : 9.0
Rendering a Dragon picture
rendering HTDV 1920x1080
Maxon Cinema 4D Release 10Version : 10.008
Rendering from a scene
(Water drop at a Rose)
Resolution : 1280x1024 – 8-Bit (50 frames)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3Version : 10.0x20070321
Filtering of a 69 MB TIF-Photo
Benchmark : Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4
Programmed by Tomshardware using Delphi 2007
Filters :
Crosshatch
Glass
Sumi-e
Accented Edges
Angled Strokes
Sprayed Strokes
Adobe Acrobat 9 ProfessionalVersion : 9.0.0 (Extended)
- Printing Preference Menu -
Default Settings : Standard
Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu -
Encrypt all documents (128 bit RC4)
Open Password : 123
Permissions Password : 321
Microsoft Powerpoint 2007Version : 2007
PPT to PDF
Powerpoint Document (115 Pages)
Adobe PDF-Printer
Deep Fritz 11Version : 11
Fritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.2
Sysmark 2007 PreviewVersion 1.04
Official Run

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
3DMark VantageVersion : 1.02
Options : Performance
Graphics Test 1
Graphics Test 2
CPU Test 1
CPU Test 2
PCMark VantageVersion : 1.00
PCMark Benchmark
Memory Benchmark
Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2Version 2008.5.14.24
CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia
Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:46 AM
    one thing that the authors forget that a typical use for a computer isn't just decompressing, surfing or gaming. The typical use is decompressing AND surfing AND using a resource hog like Skype AT THE SAME TIME! Oh, did I hear BitTorrent or multiple YouTube flash videos? How about them fancy Flash Ads, about 3 of them in every one of those 20-30 open tabs in the browser? Why don't you compare a quad core and a dual core in such an environment for general performance and responsiveness?
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:47 AM
    Maybe in Windows the time of the Quad core or even the Duo core hasn't arrived yet, but in Linux the multicore processors have been supported for a lot longer and I wouldn't be surprised if you find many more apps in Linux that are natively multithreaded. How about rerunning your comparison in Linux and see who's the winner there where neither processor has the advantage. Both are well supported in Linux where as many of the tests in Windows lopsidedly tainted toward Intel products. In other words, try a scenario where the processors are treated equally by the testing software.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    nachowarrior , September 4, 2008 6:29 AM
    good work on getting the benchmarks out. but a better comparison would be amd quad vs amd dual. due to the fact that amd has the only real quad core. I think most if not all of us know that most apps aren't ready to scale well up to a full quad proc. keep in mind that amd has four ACTUAL cores on their procs, not two logiced out to four as intel does. Get programs that are fully optimized to run on four acutal cores, the benchmarks will change quite a bit. I honestly don't recommend a quad core to anyone for the price at this point in time unless they plan on keeping their computer upwards of at least 4 years due to the fact that software takes too long to catch up to hardware. Multi core scaling on the software side just isn't there yet. Look to amd's dual core offerings for a good price/performance ratio at this point in time.

    but none the less... it's good to have some charts at this current point in time. thanks for the time put on the benchies... i'll click a sponsor or something. :-p
  • 4 Hide
    ahmshaegar , September 4, 2008 6:34 AM
    Just wondering if there's a little error on the game benchmarks page... the graph for Supreme Commander and the text don't seem to agree.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 6:38 AM
    little nit @ second last paragraph:

    "are all examples showing that a 2.0 GHz quad core can certainly beat a sophisticated 3.16 GHz quad core"

    should be 3.16 GHz dual core.
  • 2 Hide
    Legless Ethiopian , September 4, 2008 6:57 AM
    The mainconcept analysis is wrong as well. Says the e8500 wins when it doesn't.
  • -7 Hide
    apache_lives , September 4, 2008 7:26 AM
    nachowarrior cut the AMD true quad core BS - 4 cores total wether it be attached or not, the performance speaks for its self, plus intel was smarter not to make one huge processor etc - same as ATi's 4870 x2 - you should know that fanboy.

    If you want to get technical lets compare Intel nehalem quad - no competition ;) 

    Sloppy editing alright - its making AMD look good! :o  LOL
  • 2 Hide
    Pukas71 , September 4, 2008 7:32 AM
    Good idea, but the article is such a mess. Never seen anything like that on Toms. It needs editing, and needs it now. Shame.
  • 1 Hide
    xx12amanxx , September 4, 2008 7:36 AM
    I still can not concieve why they are comparing a 3.0+ dual core to a 2.0ghz quad?

    What is the real point of this article?
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:46 AM
    one thing that the authors forget that a typical use for a computer isn't just decompressing, surfing or gaming. The typical use is decompressing AND surfing AND using a resource hog like Skype AT THE SAME TIME! Oh, did I hear BitTorrent or multiple YouTube flash videos? How about them fancy Flash Ads, about 3 of them in every one of those 20-30 open tabs in the browser? Why don't you compare a quad core and a dual core in such an environment for general performance and responsiveness?
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:47 AM
    Maybe in Windows the time of the Quad core or even the Duo core hasn't arrived yet, but in Linux the multicore processors have been supported for a lot longer and I wouldn't be surprised if you find many more apps in Linux that are natively multithreaded. How about rerunning your comparison in Linux and see who's the winner there where neither processor has the advantage. Both are well supported in Linux where as many of the tests in Windows lopsidedly tainted toward Intel products. In other words, try a scenario where the processors are treated equally by the testing software.
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , September 4, 2008 8:08 AM
    Thanks for the analysis catches, guys. They should have been, but weren't, caught during layout. I've adjusted the text to correctly reflect the benchmark results. Take care!
  • 2 Hide
    Mante , September 4, 2008 8:12 AM
    I don't know why, but i would like to see an amd x2 @ 3.0 ghz running around those task.... It's cheaper and im really happy with it. Nice Article.
  • 1 Hide
    ravenware , September 4, 2008 8:34 AM
    Quote:
    Intel’s fastest dual core processor.


    It appears that the author is referring to the e8500 in the above statement, this would be incorrect considering the e8600 has newer stepping and a higher clock rate.

    Quote:
    Supreme Commander shows the same results: it runs much faster on the Intel dual core than it does on AMD’s quad core. Since the performance difference is 80%, the clock speed difference alone isn’t enough to account for the tremendous difference.


    The chart shows otherwise, something maybe awry with the report.

    Quote:
    AMD Phenom X4 e9350


    Should be AMD Phenom X4 9350e , "e" is misplaced.

    Anyway, I would have liked to see what a Phenom 9950 and q6600 would have shown given the fact that their with in the same price point and would have shown the difference in efficiency and power.


  • 2 Hide
    amdfangirl , September 4, 2008 11:38 AM
    nachowarriorgood work on getting the benchmarks out. but a better comparison would be amd quad vs amd dual. due to the fact that amd has the only real quad core. I think most if not all of us know that most apps aren't ready to scale well up to a full quad proc. keep in mind that amd has four ACTUAL cores on their procs, not two logiced out to four as intel does. Get programs that are fully optimized to run on four acutal cores, the benchmarks will change quite a bit. I honestly don't recommend a quad core to anyone for the price at this point in time unless they plan on keeping their computer upwards of at least 4 years due to the fact that software takes too long to catch up to hardware. Multi core scaling on the software side just isn't there yet. Look to amd's dual core offerings for a good price/performance ratio at this point in time. but none the less... it's good to have some charts at this current point in time. thanks for the time put on the benchies... i'll click a sponsor or something. :-p


    Sure it would, but the point of this article is to compare relatively similar costing processors with similar TDPs as a quad vs dual. Plus given how AMD is losing in the performance race clock for clock it emphasis on quad-core beating dual in some applications.

    If it was AMD beating AMD everyone would be "so what?". Since it was (in some cases) AMD beating Intel, most go wow. The they compared the clockspeeds and wow. That really puts pressure on quad-core's performance. Great Work guys!=)
  • 3 Hide
    mitch074 , September 4, 2008 11:44 AM
    I have done some tests on my K8 X2. Moreover, I've taken some interest in Xvid development.
    - current Xvid code isn't multithreaded: it is purely single core! In fact, when I encode two videos in parallel, I get almost no speed impact from the second encoding upon the first. If you want to try a multithreaded Xvid encoder, you must compile the 1.2 CVS version.
    - I bet this benchmark uses Koepi's build of Xvid 1.1.3; as far as I know, he builds it against the Pentium Pro instruction set.
    - I compared Koepi's build compressing some video under Windows (32-bit) and one built directly on my K8, in Linux 64-bit + SSE2 compressing the same video: encoding speed went up by a factor of 2.5.
    - ever since most Xvid developers were hired by Miro to work on Miro's MPEG4 codec, Xvid development slowed down. Many developers got interested in x264 instead.

    In short, using Xvid to compare AMD and Intel processors isn't as good as it used to be. Either that, or since Xvid is one of the few very CPU-intensive benchmarks out there, you should try and build it yourselves for each platform - just to be sure. It would also be interesting to benchmark current CVS build, to see how it scales with more cores.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 11:59 AM
    agree with REappear. for hardcore multitaskers, like myself, the quad is clearly a winner. a couple of msn/skype windows AND 10+tabs AND running torrent AND playing Supreme Commander -its my favorite:) - on a 20x20+ map with 4-6 players does the performance hit. in this case, 2g of memory (supcom eats up between 1.3 and 1.8) and 2g of ram isn't enough anymore.

    and there is a low TDP quadcore from intel, my q6600, doing 9x266@1.008 :D . its a wicked thing to see a q6600 reaching only 43C on a prime test.

    AMD should put much more cache on their chips, in most of the benchs this is the reason why their CPU is so slow. oh, and efficient doesn't mean it should be this slow too.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 12:00 PM
    2g of memory and 2 cores... sry
  • 0 Hide
    sgtbaker420 , September 4, 2008 12:15 PM
    "One fact remains clear above all: our comparison has shown that the time for quad core processors just hasn’t arrived yet."

    Uhh...duh.
  • 1 Hide
    arkadi , September 4, 2008 12:26 PM
    I think it is appropriate to run mixed benchmark with multiple tests at the same time. The outcome can be surprising. Working on quad systems fells different than on dual core,quads much more responsive if you run multiple tasks at the same time.
  • 2 Hide
    badboy4dee , September 4, 2008 1:23 PM
    Good article and outcome as expected but I must agree when conducting tests we need to run multiple apps in conjunction for a true everyday experience. I would be interested in seeing how 2xquad cores fair on some NLE video editing apps like Premier & Vegas. Can we have some test ran on Linux? .... Please? Linux is becoming more and more popular to people so this would be refreshing to see. Don't worry bout the typo's we all make mistakes, it's no big deal. No worries, Keep on ROCKn THG!!

    The Silent Majority
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 1:38 PM
    I agree with REapper, a multi-tasking benchmark will shed much more light on real-world user concerns. I also wonder what the interest of power efficiency in desktop cores is? I know everyone wants to be green, but for most desktop users that I know, heat and power aren't that big of an issue.
    When it comes to multi-cpu workstations and clusters, heat IS a issue.
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