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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [09.11.08]
Manufactured by: 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 work 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. We're using the latest version here - version 1.04.


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

To see a 22% and 33% performance advantage over identically-priced processors in a test that isn't even 100% CPU bound is nothing short of impressive. It's clear that if you do a lot of work in Adobe and Macromedia software, the latest Dual-Core processors are a much better choice than similarly priced Quad-Cores.

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

Again the scores look good in Microsoft Office applications, but not by a huge margin. This test is not highly CPU-bound, so is always tightly packed in our CPU reviews.

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

Again, not a huge margin here. I'm actually not sure why - looking at the workload, one would think that this would be quite dependant on CPU performance. It is obviously highly threaded, as the Q6600 is able to keep up with the much faster E8500.

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

Another highly threaded real-world benchmar, the E8500 is still able to pull ahead by over 21%!

Finally, and overall score is given:

Considering that all these processor are roughly the same price, which one would you buy?

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: (Audio Encoding; Video Encoding; WinRAR)