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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [11.01.06]
Manufactured by: Intel


PCMark 2005 Pro

The latest version of PCMark puts a heavy emphasis on multithreading and multitasking. For full details, check out the Whitepaper.

The system test suite is a collection of tests that are run to generate an overall PCMark score. Three of the test scenarios are run multithreaded - two of those include two simultaneous tests and one is with four tests running simultaneously. The remaining eight tests are run single threaded. The System Test consists of the following tests:

  • HDD - XP startup
  • Physics and 3D
  • 2D - Transparent windows
  • 3D - Pixel Shader
  • Web page rendering
  • File Decryption
  • 2D - Graphics memory - 64 lines
  • HDD - General usage
  • Multithreaded test 1: Video encoding & Audio Compression
    This test runs the Video encoding and Audio Compression tests at the same time multithreaded.
  • Multithreaded test 2: Text Edit & Image Decompression
    This test runs the Text Edit and Image decompression tests at the same time multithreaded.
  • Multithreaded test 3: File Encryption & HDD - Virus scan & Memory - Latency 16MB & File compression

Thanks to the amount of multitasking in this test, the Kentsfield is able to outperform Conroe by a small margin.

The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. The CPU Test Suite also includes multithreading: two of the test scenarios are run multithreaded; the other including two simultaneous tests and the other running four tests simultaneously. This is where Kentsfield should shine. The remaining six tests are run single threaded. The tests in the CPU suite include:

  • File compression
  • File decompression
  • File Encryption
  • File Decryption
  • Image decompression
  • Audio encoding
  • Multithreaded test 1: File compression & File Encryption
    This test runs the File Compression and File Encrypting tests at the same time multithreaded.
  • Multithreaded test 2: File decompression & File decryption & Audio decompression & Image decompression
    This test runs the File compression, File decryption, Audio decoding and Image decoding tests at the same time multithreaded.

This test suite is even more threaded than the first, so doubling up the cores should really show a performance increase here:

As expected, Kentsfield looks as strong as ever here. However this is a case of MAJOR multitasking; probably more than most people would want to do. We'll look at more realistic scenarios later on in the review.

CineBench 9.5

We've been using CineBench for quite some time now, as a representation of how a system will perform in 3D rendering. Using Maxon's popular Cinema4D engine, CineBench should do quite a good job of showing real world performance, while giving results that are easy to compare. Maxon has just released CineBench 9.5, which includes 32- and 64-bit Windows binaries, as well as a universal binary that will run in both Windows and MacOS X for direct comparison. We're using the Windows 32 bit version here:

C4D's rendering engine is fully multithreaded, so makes full use of every core available to it. This allows Kentsfield to give the highest score I've ever seen in this test.

Since the shading engine only runs up to 2 threads, the extra 2 cores in Kentsfield sit idle while they wait for the test to complete. This is the first case so far of quad core showing absolutely no performance benefit.

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