Dual Core Stress Test: AMD vs. Intel

Live Stress Test: The Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Vs. The Pentium 840 EE

The last stress test at the end of 2004 certainly created a stir when we marked the end of the perennial gigahertz race once and for all. This time around we have the two most powerful x86 processors from AMD and Intel going head to head dual-core style. We subject the two devices to a full week under a maximum load, while running applications chosen to reflect typical usage conditions. This will make clear what stability and product quality really mean and whether investing in them pays off for buyers. These traits are of particular critical importance in a business environment, thus the focus on computing-intensive applications.

Both AMD and Intel now pack two computing units into a single processor in what is called a dual-CPU system. The manufacturers are promising twice the performance in some situations, a claim we investigate in a real-life environment.

The questions to be answered are: how do these most powerful of CPUs behave under full load and how do they handle rising temperatures resulting from the tremendous amount of waste heat generated? We also deal with the topic of power consumption, as the cost of electricity and energy continues to go up all the time. Thus a new criterion in the evaluation is computing performance in relation to power consumption costs generated. This makes efficiency decisive for determining the winning platform in the stress test. Two graphics cards in an SLI combo were added to the systems in order to ensure high graphics performance as well.