Benchmark Results: Productivity
We also made a big change to our Visual Studio 2010 benchmark in anticipation of today’s launch. Gone is the Miranda IM client compile workload. In its place, we’re compiling Google Chrome—a task that takes more than 10 minutes with 16 cores at 100% utilization.
As with some of the benchmarks on the previous page, the biggest performance improvement happens between Intel’s Xeon 5500 and 5600 processors. Nevertheless, the new Xeon E5s serve up a significant boost as well.
Based on the STARS Euler3D computational fluid dynamics production code, Euler3D’s workload is described as follows:
“The benchmark testcase is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes…The benchmark CFD grid contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances the Mach 0.50 AGARD flow solution. Our benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz.”
Euler3D reports that it recognizes and employs all 32 of the Xeon E5 system’s available threads, and the result is a score that blows away the Xeon X5680s. Based on the fact that Core i7-3960X beats two Xeon 5500s and comes close to the 5600s suggests a big advantage from Sandy Bridge-based CPUs.
The rest of our productivity-oriented tests are decidedly less workstation-specific, though ABBYY’s FineReader 10 OCR app does a better job of taxing two Xeon E5s than video workloads like Adobe After Effects.
FineReader 10 shows Intel’s Core i7-3960X nearly matching two Xeon W5580s. A pair of Xeon X5680s yield a sizable 29% speed-up, while the Xeon E5s improve 21% compared to the 5600s.
None of our compression workloads are able to fully utilize these workstation-oriented configurations. 7-Zip comes the closest, yielding a slight advantage to the Xeon E5s over the 5600s and 5500s. However, even a six-core Core i7 is fast enough to pass the Xeon 5500s.
Because WinRAR employs fewer threads than a Core i7-3960X offers to it, anything in excess (read: every two-chip platform) goes unused, resulting in a performance chart defined by architecture and clock rate. Clearly, Intel’s Sandy Bridge design is favored over Nehalem, which is why the Xeon E5s and Core i7 excel.
The i7 actually scores a win in WinZip 16. We’ve been critical of single-threaded versions of this software in the past, which always took significantly longer than similar tasks in WinRAR or 7-Zip. A move to WinZip 16 makes this a 64-bit app that shows activity on four cores. But it’s still way slower than our other compression tests. Low utilization suggests that the Core i7 is enjoying a higher Turbo Boost multiplier, giving it the edge over Xeon E5.