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How CPU Features Affect CPU Performance, Part 6

Intel Core i7, clock rates.

December 8, 2009



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Scientific computations





  1.86 GHz 2.26 GHz 2.66 GHz 3.06 GHz
Maya ↑ 5.77 6.97 21% 8.33 20% 9.82 18%
SolidWorks ↓ 60.48 51.06 18% 41.31 24% 40.96 1%
Pro/ENGINEER ↓ 2658 2186 22% 1725 27% 1539 12%
UGS NX ↓ 3.57 4.19 17% 4.96 18% 5.57 12%
MAPLE ↑ 0.1296 0.1569 21% 0.1925 23% 0.2197 14%
Mathematica ↑ 1.8134 2.225 23% 2.7142 22% 3.0364 12%
MATLAB ↓ 0.063229 0.052212 21% 0.045011 16% 0.0406 11%
Group Score ↑ 85 102 20% 123 21% 137 11%

Note that the computing group includes applications of three types: engineering CAD, mathematical packages, and even one 3D modeling program. It's a funny situation: there is no consensus in any group consisting of more than one application. MAPLE and Mathematica are the best scalable applications (plus Maya). However, MATLAB scales performance much worse, especially at the end of the test, when the frequency grows high. Engineering CAD applications dispersed: Pro/ENGINEER demonstrates good scalability, UGS NX is not that good (its curve matches that of MATLAB), and SolidWorks gains almost nothing from the 2.66 to 3.06 GHz transition. So it makes no sense to speculate on trends. However, thanks to the leading applications, the average scalability in this group is very high (see the first graph -- deviation from the ideal situation is insignificant and appears only in the end.) We again witness cases of superlinear performance growth, especially at the 2.26 to 2.66 GHz transition. Note: considering the number of such cases, we may refer to them as a trend.

Bitmap processing





  1.86 GHz 2.26 GHz 2.66 GHz 3.06 GHz
ACDSee ↓ 07:36 06:09 24% 05:22 15% 05:21 0%
Paint.NET ↓ 00:24 00:20 20% 00:17 18% 00:15 13%
PaintShop Pro ↓ 15:42 13:05 20% 10:24 26% 09:48 6%
Photoimpact ↓ 10:13 08:25 21% 07:15 16% 06:33 11%
Photoshop ↓ 08:52 07:32 18% 06:20 19% 05:50 9%
Group Score ↑ 90 108 20% 129 19% 138 7%

Note behavior of two programs that differs from the common trend: ACDSee stops scaling by the end at all (even though it was doing fine before that moment, and it did not stand out in its group). And PaintShop Pro demonstrates a superlinear performance surge... at the 2.26 to 2.66 GHz transition! I won't keep you in suspense: we'll see this phenomenon several times, and we'll give a possible explanation after comments on all tests, as it has a universal nature and does not depend on software types.

Data compression





  1.86 GHz 2.26 GHz 2.66 GHz 3.06 GHz
7-Zip ↓ 06:06 05:02 21% 04:12 20% 03:46 12%
WinRAR ↓ 01:57 01:34 24% 01:18 21% 01:15 4%
Group Score ↑ 89 110 24% 132 20% 142 8%

Almost perfect scalability, WinRAR again shows superlinear growth at the familiar transition.


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