Tom's CPU Architecture Shootout: 16 CPUs, One Core Each, And 3 GHz

Benchmark Results: 3DMark 11

3DMark 11 requires DirectX 11-compliant hardware.

If you just look at 3DMark's graphics test, it is pretty obvious that most of the Intel processor cores deliver very similar results, whereas the AMD CPUs without L3 cache suffer from noticeable performance drops.

The overall score seems to reflect the potential of each core's caching architecture. Sandy Bridge is the most sophisticated, and the latest Phenom II processors do relatively well, too. The AMD processors without L3 cache aren’t any faster than the old Intel Pentium 4 in this metric.

The combined test taxes both the processor and graphics card by incorporating tessellation and physics. The results show clearly that a modern quad-core processor (or more) makes sense in situations where the software is properly optimized for threading. Once again, this is a synthetic measurement, which means it may represent a best- or worst-case scenario; real-world outcomes are probably going to be very different.