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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.01.07]
Manufactured by: AMD, Intel


SYSMark 2007 Preview

Another benchmarking application we've preferred is Bapco's SYSMark. We've been using SYSMark since their 2001 version. Similar to other benchmark suites like WorldBench, SYSMark runs several real-world applications and gives a score indicating performance. Unlike WorldBench though, it actually works for me. I've always had problems getting WorldBench to consistently, and to be honest a lot of the scores they give don't really correlate to the true real-world tests we do in our reviews. SYSMark works well, and scores are always repeatable.

SYSMark 2007 is still a "Preview" version, although scores are still valid, and will be with later versions. Like prior versions, different "workload scenarios" are given, focusing on different aspects of computing, using different software types.


This scenario includes tasks executed in the creation of an on-line teaching facility. It integrates rich image, video, and audio content in a web page for presentation of learning materials. E-Learning uses the following applications:

  • Adobe Illustrator CS2
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Macromedia Flash 8
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2003

In this scenario, Core 2 Duo has a strong showing, with the E6750 outperforming the X2 6400+ by about 26%, for only $10 more. Quad-Core's multithreading capabilities aren't helping overcome the lower clock speed this time.

Office Productivity

This scenario models data analysis as performed with common office applications. Communication, data processing, project management, and file manipulation comprise this scenario. Office Productivity uses the following applications:

  • Microsoft Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2003
  • Microsoft Project 2003
  • WinZip 10.0

Once again, Intel's Core 2 Duos perform well here, this time around 30% faster than their $10-less counterparts. And once again, multithreading isn't helping at all here.

Video Creation

This sceanrio executes the creation of a video using special effects and images from multiple sources. The content is created for both online streaming transfer and high-resolution download viewing. Video Creation uses the following applications:

  • Adobe After Effects 7
  • Adobe Illustrator CS2
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 series
  • Sony Vegas 7

Things are surprizingly even in this test; I expected Core 2 Duo to excel here, thanks to its superior video encoding performance. Without knowing exactly which tests are being done, it's hard to know exactly where AMD is catching up here. One thing is for certain though; video creation definitely benefits from processors having more cores!

3D Modeling

This scenario is tasked to develop an architectural presentation of a prospective construction project, creating a flyby animation and photorealistic image of the completed building. 3D Modeling uses the following applications:

  • AutoDesk 3ds Max 8
  • SketchUp 5

Very even results with this test, which is very clock-speed sensetive. With multithreading, the quad core is able to keep up with the faster E6750 despite its lower core and frontside bus clock speeds.

Finally, an overall score is given:

It's clear to see which CPU is more productive in office based tasks. Depending on what kind of work you do though, things are either very even, or the dual-cores fall behind quad-cores. If you do a lot of video encoding, quad-core is the way to go.

I hope SYSMark produces a full whitepaper when 2007 Final comes out. It would be great to know exactly what is being done in each scenario. SYSMark 2007 Preview is not really geared to consumers, but you can pick up a copy if you like - the Individual Version is $499.

Next Page: (Video Encoding; Audio Encoding; WinRar)