Parallel Processing, Part 2: RAM and HDD

Test Setup

We selected a typical upper mainstream configuration for this project :

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CPUIntel Core 2 Duo E6850 (65nm, 3000 MHz, 4 MB L2 Cache)
MotherboardDFI LANParty UT P35-T2R, Rev : A.03Chipset : Intel P35, BIOS 23.08.2007
RAMCorsair CM2X1024-888C4D2x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 4-4-4-12, 2T)
System Hard DriveWestern Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD150 GB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB cache, SATA/150
Additional Hard DrivesWestern Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD150 GB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB cache, SATA/150
DVD-ROMSamsung SH-S183
Graphics CardZotac GeForce 8800 GTSGPU : GeForce 8800 GTS (500 MHz)RAM : 320 MB GDDR3 (1600 MHz)
Sound CardIntegrated
Power SupplyEnermax EG565P-VEATX 2.01, 510 Watt
System Software & Drivers
OSWindows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Platform Drivers IntelVersion 8.3.1013
Graphics Drivers NvidiaForceware 162.18

An AMD Athlon 64 X2 system would have been more memory sensitive, but its overall performance is smaller, which is why we decided to stay with the Intel Core 2 Duo system.

Benchmarks And Settings

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Benchmarks and Settings
Call Of Duty 2Version : 1.3 RetailVideo Mode : 1280x960Anti Aliasing : offGraphics Card : mediumTimedemo demo2
PreyVersion : 1.3Video Mode : 1280x1024Video Quality : game defaultVsync = offBenchmark : THG-Demo
Quake 4Version : 1.2 (Dual-Core Patch)Video Mode : 1280x1024Video Quality : highTHG Timedemo waste.maptimedemo demo8.demo 1 (1 = load textures)
Lame MP3Version 3.98 Beta 5Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to mp3160 kbps
TMPEG 3.0 ExpressVersion : (no Audio)fist 5 Minutes DVD Terminator 2 SE (704x576) 16:9Multithreading by rendering
DivX 6.7Version : 6.7 (4 Logical CPUs)Profile : High Definition Profile1-pass, 3000 kbit/sEncoding mode : Insane QualityEnhanced multithreadingno Audio
XviD 1.1.3Version : 1.1.3Target quantizer : 1.00
Mainconcept H.264 v2Version 2.1260 MB MPEG-2 source (1920x1080) 16:9Codec : H.264Mode : NTSCAudio : AACProfile : HighStream : Program
WinrarVersion 3.70(303 MB, 47 Files, 2 Folders)Compression = BestDictionary = 4096 kB
Autodesk 3D Studio MaxVersion : 8.0Characters "Dragon_Charater_rig"Rendering HTDV 1920x1080
CinebenchVersion : R101 CPU, x CPU run
Sysmark 2007 PreviewVersion 1.01Official Run
PCMark05 ProVersion : 1.2.0CPU and Memory TestsWindows Media Player Media Encoder
  • perzy
    This is a great article!
  • (Firt of all: Excuse my poor English... )
    mmm yours memory tests don't convince me. You should run, for example, Winrar AND Lame IN PARALLEL/SIMULTANEOUS (i.e multitasking), otherwise, caches don't are flushed (and it's when dual channel really is important). Note that it's not a superflous situation; under normal use a system commonly have several huge memory applications run concurrently (word, browser whith a lot of tabs open, anti-virus, etc. )
  • hellwig
    I doubt anyone from Tom's will see this comment on such an old article, but it would have been interesting to see Single-vs.-Dual channel memory using an AMD processor. Since Tom's like Intel, the new Core i7's would also be beneficial. The point is, the article acknowledges the Core 2's have a tremendous amount of L2 cache to combat FSB (and consequently Memory) latencies. How is the comparison with an AMD or nwe Core i7 where there is NO FSB and the L2 Cache is significantly reduce? I would imagine this is where dual/tripple-channel shows is mustard. I hope we see a single vs. dual vs. triple channel comparison soon.
  • meodowla
    Won't it be different when using a AMD processor with Memory Controller inside CPU.
  • junghm69
    My Windows Experience Index 3D gaming graphics score goes up from 3.8 to 5.1 when I switch from dual channel to single channel. This makes absolutely no sense. I thought dual channel was supposed to be better than single channel. Can anyone explain this?

    I seriously doubt that this score is accurate. I am using the built in graphics controller on the motherboard which is an AMD 760G chipset (ATI HD 3000 or 3200 I think). I've used Radeon HD 5450 video cards on similar systems and they give me a score of 5.4. How can a built in graphics controller give me a 5.1?

    AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana (2.9 ghz)
    Asus M4A78LT-M motherboard
    4 GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 (2x2GB) F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT CL9-9-9-24 1.5V
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • junghm69
    because if you used 2 different memory chips both will run at the speed of the lowest memory chip when you activate dual channel in your motherboard
  • Caramac
    That earlier article on Processors doesn't work, so I'll add this:
    Intel HyperThreading - leading to the "H T" on the 'Intel Inside' sticker of computers with that 875p chipset and a single core Pentium 4 processor.
    It equals simulated dual core tech.
    Some Core processors also have HT.