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Choosing From Similar PC Configurations

Budget PCs in tests.

May 1, 2009



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Compiling

The first announcement: this is a new compile test. The source code is the same, just as the compiler, but the choice of options and some project improvements allow to use all processor cores. As a result, compile time is much shorter now, and this benchmark has become more dependent on a processor.


  Athlon X2 6000 Phenom X3 8450 E5300 + G31 E5300 + GF7100
Visual Studio 00:11:33 00:14:19 00:10:38 00:11:02



Surprisingly, it didn't help AMD Phenom at all -- this processor is outperformed by the dual-core Pentium DC as well as by the older dual-core processor from AMD -- Athlon X2. In other respects, this situation was to be expected, Intel G31 defeats GeForce 7100 -- the compile test has always been indifferent to large cache and fast memory, so GeForce 7100 with its single-channel memory controller couldn't compete with the Intel chipset.

Professional photo processing


  Athlon X2 6000 Phenom X3 8450 E5300 + G31 E5300 + GF7100
Photoshop
Blur 00:10:30 00:09:10 00:08:42 00:09:30
Color 00:02:38 00:02:02 00:01:46 00:01:48
Filters 00:05:44 00:07:22 00:04:46 00:04:48
Light 00:02:24 00:02:52 00:02:08 00:02:10
Rotate 00:03:44 00:03:48 00:03:40 00:04:02
Sharp 00:04:34 00:03:56 00:03:30 00:04:08
Size 00:01:36 00:01:16 00:01:02 00:01:06
Transform 00:03:04 00:02:56 00:02:34 00:02:52



There are no miracles in this test either, we all know that Adobe Photoshop has been favoring Intel since Pentium 4. Phenom X3 outperforms Athlon X2, because our Adobe Photoshop test can use all cores, and Phenom X3 has more of them.

Scientific applications


  Athlon X2 6000 Phenom X3 8450 E5300 + G31 E5300 + GF7100
Maple 0.0332 0.0232 0.0258 0.0257
Mathematica
Internal 2.3180 2.4780 2.8450 2.5610
MMA 1.1392 0.9785 1.1818 1.1360
MATLAB
LU 0.0786 0.1038 0.0829 0.1099
FFT 0.1026 0.1903 0.1538 0.1959
ODE 0.2427 0.2169 0.1754 0.1812
Sparse 1.0132 0.5201 0.3076 0.3355
2D 0.3173 0.4089 0.3254 0.3280
3D 0.2857 0.3211 0.1821 0.5587



Mathematic packages suddenly turned out to be sensitive to memory speed (how else can we explain that G31 is so much faster than GeForce 7100?) And Athlon X2 6000 defeats Phenom X3 8450 not only in MATLAB (as we expected), but also in Maple and in one of Mathematica tests.

Web server


  Athlon X2 6000 Phenom X3 8450 E5300 + G31 E5300 + GF7100
PHP Calculator 93 111 100 100
PHPSpeed
Synthetic PHP 2469 2374 3031 3033
Synthetic MySQL 1942 2167 2634 2640
Synthetic Read/Write 1608 1629 1974 1940
Real World PHP 2950 3508 4649 4275
Real World PHP and MySQL 2121 2064 2686 2723
Server 1430 1578 1960 1932



The web server test unexpectedly turns out less sensitive to the number of channels in a memory controller, even in its multi-threaded part (PHP Calculator). Other results are not surprising.

Total professional score




  Athlon X2 6000 Phenom X3 8450 E5300 + G31 E5300 + GF7100
USD per point 1.13 1.1 - 0.95

Intel Pentium DC E5300 + Intel G31 gets no professional score and no USD-per-point value because it failed to pass all tests. So it was not possible to calculate these parameters. However, the Intel platform in combination with NVIDIA GeForce 7100 still wins the professional run with an imposing advantage. It's all clear why: AMD platform shows terrible results in CAD/CAM tests because of low OpenGL performance of AMD 740G (we still insist that the problem is in the drivers, not in hardware), plus mediocre results in Adobe Photoshop (even the triple-core Phenom cannot compete with the dual-core Pentium!) But let's not forget that the professional group of tests in this article is not very important, as we test home systems.


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