Benchmark Results: Productivity
The four filters that make up our Adobe Photoshop script are threaded, which translates to a victory for our $2000 PC. Naturally, then, Paul's $500 machine, with its dual-core CPU, is punished.
In light of the value comparison that we know is coming up, I really wish that, for the sake of my $2000 build, I had eight cores to throw at this workload.
Don's mid-range build seems to serve up slightly inconsistent results under 3ds Max 2012. We would have expected a little more from its overclock and a little less from its stock settings.
The version of WinZip that we're testing is poorly threaded. 7-Zip is much better-optimized for multi-core architectures. And WinRAR falls somewhere in between those two extremes.
Though I’ve personally never used optical character recognition for anything other than benchmarking, ABBYY’s FineReader does a great job of dividing workloads up across available cores, making it a telling indicator of modern processor performance. As the builder of the $2000 PC, I can really get behind this one.