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AMD's Dual Core Laptops Have Arrived: Introducing the Turion 64 X2

Extended Benchmark Suite

Apart from the benchmark suites commonly used for THG laptop tests, such as MobileMark 2005 and SYSmark 2004 SE, we used additional applications like Adobe Photoshop CS 2, some of whose program code is optimized for dual-core processors.

Moreover, we set up three special multitasking scenarios by making use of some relatively simple means that are available in common applications. In the first and third scenarios (Multitasking I/III), two applications are executed concurrently; in the second scenario (Multitasking II), four applications are executed at the same time. Using a custom-developed tool, we measured how long it took until the system completed all tasks. These custom tests are very suitable for identifying the advantages of a dual-core system.

The following sections briefly describe which applications we used for the tests and how we combined individual applications in three different multitasking scenarios.

Pegasys TMPGEnc 3.0 Xpress DivX6.1

TMPEG 3.0 was used to convert a VOB file to the MPEG-4 format, using the multi-core optimized DivX 6.1 codec.

Adobe Photoshop CS 2

The test script, which is based on Virtual Run Time, simulated real-time user input in Photoshop CS2. A total of seven images (66 MB) were opened, and seven different filters were applied. Three of the filters are thread-optimized, and the application itself is also optimized for dual core.

Grisoft AVG Virus Scan 7.1

We used this anti-virus program to screen the installation directory of SYSmark 2004 SE for viruses. To get stable, reproducible results, a "preparatory" scan had to be performed before the actual measurement, as the caching features of Windows only became effective in the second run, i.e., during the actual measurement. This "trick" was used to prevent hard disk accesses from having a measurable effect on the result. This application is not optimized for dual core, but together with another application like FineReader 8, it effectively demonstrates the advantage of a dual-core system.