Benchmark Results: Compression Utilities
WinZip used to be decidedly single-threaded. Slowly, Corel has done a better job of optimizing the compression utility’s engine, and it’s now able to utilize multiple cores to some degree. Nevertheless, Intel’s chips take the win ahead of AMD’s Trinity-based APUs. This is probably because even the "optimized" WinZip 16.5 still doesn't take full advantage of multi-core chips, as I showed in our Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition review.
That’s not the whole story, though. AMD and Corel worked together to enable OpenCL support in WinZip 16.5, which you can enable on platforms with AMD’s graphics hardware installed (even though Nvidia and Intel support OpenCL on their respective products).
So, we have benchmark results under the same workload with OpenCL turned on. It’s clear that any disadvantage AMD might have suffered in the previous chart is more than made up for with OpenCL enabled.
Of course, if the Photoshop CS6 benchmark is any indication, Intel’s Core i3s will quickly regain ground as soon as Corel exposes support for competing platforms, which it plans to do.
WinRAR is unable to tax AMD’s hardware fully, resulting in a win for Intel. The difference isn’t particularly bothersome. Though, given the amount of power AMD’s chips consume while active, the conversion to efficiency makes this outcome more severe.
We use 7-Zip on our own workstations, not only because it’s freely available, but also because the utility effectively utilizes our hardware. A fairly even finish shows that AMD’s additional processing resources and notably higher clock rates more than make up for a loss in instruction throughput per clock cycle, if just barely.