iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Intel Wolfdale vs. AMD Agena

Fair fight: one core, same memory, same clock rate.

November 18, 2008

<< Previous page

     Next page >>


Benchmark Wolfdale Agena Advantage
7-Zip 0:04:03 0:04:35 13%
WinRAR 0:01:48 0:02:06 17%
Ultimate ZIP 0:02:12 0:02:24 9%
Group Score 77 68 13%

This group of tests shows a traditional picture, typical defeat of Agena.


Benchmark Wolfdale Agena Advantage
FLAC 0:01:11 0:01:17 8%
LAME 0:02:59 0:03:14 8%
Musepack 0:02:07 0:02:22 12%
Vorbis 0:04:09 0:05:20 29%
Canopus ProCoder 0:06:31 0:05:52 --10%
DivX 0:01:50 0:02:07 15%
x264 0:09:41 0:10:59 13%
XviD 0:07:28 0:09:23 26%
Group Score 76 68 12%

Canopus ProCoder apparently votes for Agena. But the other seven applications are of the opposite opinion. Agena is slower by more than a quarter in two codecs -- OGG Vorbis and XviD. Both are open source projects. However, open source LAME and FLAC are less radical in their preferences, so we cannot draw far-reaching conclusions from this coincidence.


Benchmark Wolfdale Agena Advantage
Call of Duty 4 75 63 19%
Company of Heroes 56 48 17%
Call of Juarez 48 45 7%
Crysis 12.60 10.25 23%
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 77 63 22%
Unreal Tournament 3 44 38 16%
World in Conflict 25 19 32%
Group Score 65 54 19%

Quite a standard situation: Agena is defeated in each test, starting from 7% (in Call of Juarez, which depends much on a graphics card) and to 32% (strange as it may seem, it's in no less 3D-dependent World in Conflict). There is nothing unusual here.

Non-professional photo processing

Benchmark Wolfdale Agena Advantage
ACDSee 0:12:44 0:21:24 68%
IrfanView 0:18:21 0:22:53 25%
Paint.NET 95473 122396 28%
xat.com Image Optimizer 0:37:35 0:42:22 13%
XnView 0:21:23 0:26:22 23%
Group Score 72 55 30%

Over a half of applications (3 out of 5, to be more exact) demonstrate the advantage of Wolfdale over Agena by a quarter or even more. For example, Agena is defeated by 68% in ACDSee! That's the third (and fortunately the last) Phenom's phenomenon in these tests. The author of this processor's name apparently had a wry sense of humor.


Benchmark Wolfdale Agena Advantage
PRO SCORE 76 66 14%
HOME SCORE 72 61 18%

This is sad. In modern conditions, even all other things being equal, the Agena core is outperformed by Wolfdale almost everywhere. Moreover, the lag is mostly significant (over 10%). Sometimes this word can be replaced with "insignificant" (SolidWorks/Graphics, Photoshop/Rotate, Mathematica, many PHPSpeed tests) or "horrible" (MATLAB/LU, Real World PHP & MySQL, ACDSee). Strange as it may seem, the latter serves as a reason for our optimism.

Let's recall the recent history of x86-64 processors. AMD Phenom started its existence from such a thundering screwup, which we hadn't seen since the notorious bug in Intel Pentium. What did it tell us in the first place? That the processor was designed in a hurry, as a rush job, so it most likely wasn't properly tested. Then we had an opportunity to see the erratic behavior of the improved Phenom in MATLAB Sparse tests. And now, in single-core mode, we again stumble upon MATLAB (LU function), PHP+MySQL, and ACDSee.

From an optimistic point of view, hoping for the best, we can assume that all these Phenom's phenomena are caused by such defects. They do not result in bugs, unlike the notorious TLB error, but they reduce performance significantly. By the way, from our perspective, this category of potential strange behavior also includes all performance lags of 25% and higher. Let's hope that all these defects can be repaired, which will be probably done in the next revision of the K10 core. It won't become the ultimate solution (it's too late for that), but it will help narrow the architectural performance gap to a more or less decent level (say, below 10%) -- who knows, maybe it will happen.

Memory modules provided by Corsair Memory.

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

<< Previous page

Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: More tests, conclusions

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.