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How CPU Features Affect CPU Performance, Part 5

Intel Core i7, number of cores.

November 23, 2009



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Bitmap processing

Without Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading





  1 core 2 cores 3 cores 4 cores
ACDSee ↓ 06:53 04:42 46% 04:38 1% 05:04 -9%
Paint.NET ↓ 01:06 00:34 94% 00:23 48% 00:18 28%
PaintShop Pro ↓ 09:20 09:05 3% 09:20 -3% 09:20 0%
Photoimpact ↓ 06:53 06:20 9% 08:20 -24% 06:20 32%
Photoshop ↓ 10:49 07:13 50% 06:22 13% 05:46 10%
Group Score ↑ 87 118 36% 124 5% 138 11%

As we already know from the first part of this series, in the group of bitmap graphics tests we should pay attention to results in ACDSee (only in the 1-to-2 core transition), Paint.NET, and Photoshop (with any cores). It's a similar picture, but there are some differences:

AMD Phenom II X4: +18%, +96% -- +47% -- +31%, +49% -- +21% -- +9%.

Intel Core i7: +46%, +94% -- +48% -- +28%, +50% -- +13% -- +10%.

ACDSee gains from two cores much more in case of Core i7. Paint.NET responds to both processors in a similar way, and Photoshop slumps significantly with three cores in Core i7.

With Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading





  2 cores 4 cores 6 cores 8 cores
ACDSee ↓ 05:34 04:51 15% 05:27 -11% 04:45 15%
Paint.NET ↓ 00:54 00:27 100% 00:18 50% 00:14 29%
PaintShop Pro ↓ 09:14 08:45 6% 09:17 -6% 08:46 6%
Photoimpact ↓ 06:29 06:08 6% 08:15 -26% 06:10 34%
Photoshop ↓ 09:48 06:24 53% 05:54 8% 04:53 21%
Group Score ↑ 97 128 32% 128 0% 154 20%

TB and HT only deepened the performance drop at the transition from two to three cores (what's symptomatic -- in the same applications). But strange as it may seem, they eliminated the performance drop in ACDSee with the number of cores increased from three to four. However, as we already wrote, Core i7 with enabled TB and HT often performs inadequately, and it cannot be explained. At least something is improved. Two main champions of optimizations remain the same: both for AMD and Intel. The first place is taken by Paint.NET, and the second place -- by Adobe Photoshop.

Compared to AMD Phenom II X4



That's the first time, when scalability of Core i7 gets close to Phenom II X4 -- there is still a traditional performance drop with 3(6) cores.


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