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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles April 20, 2009

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    Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor Review
    By Vince Freeman :  September 13, 2007

    SiSoft SANDRA XI Bandwidth Performance

    SiSoft SANDRA XI is a very popular system benchmark, and each revision sticks to its roots and supplies a wide range of individual benchmarks and system utilities. These tests include processor, system, network, and hard drive benchmarks, along with many other performance metrics. The memory bandwidth test is the most popular section of the SiSoft SANDRA benchmark suite, and it highlights the potential performance levels of the CPU-memory subsystem. As the Integer and FPU memory bandwidth scores are quite similar, we are only including the first one in our benchmark testing.

    SiSoft SANDRA includes a range of memory and cache-related benchmarks, and it definitely makes a great fit for our high-end processor testing. The memory bandwidth scores show a definite advantage for the Athlon 64-based dual core processors and their integrated memory controllers, and the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ is the class of the entire field. This again points back to the true DDR2-800 speeds, combined with a high clock speed, allowing the CPU to easily outpace the AMD and Intel competition.

    The SiSoft SANDRA XI Cache & Memory benchmark goes well beyond memory performance, and measures the bandwidth of the combined processor cache and memory subsystem. This test can show off the architectural advantages of each processor, as well as the benefits of larger and faster L1/L2 data caches, and help give us an overall view of how the processor and memory match up in high-speed data transfers.

    The Cache & Memory Bandwidth benchmark test certainly gives the advantage to the Intel Core 2-based models, especially the quad core models, and there is really no contest. But looking at the AMD contingent shows the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ in the top spot, as the combination of a 2.8 GHz clock speed and a full 12.8 GB/s of memory bandwidth make it tough to beat.

    Multi-Threaded Performance

    As we are covering multi-core processors, a more in-depth look at multi-threaded processor performance is certainly warranted - without the limitations of single-threaded applications or component-specific benchmarks. In this set of tests, we offer up two different multi-threaded tests: CINEBENCH 9.5 and WinRAR.

    CINEBENCH 9.5 Performance

    CINEBENCH 9.5 is the latest update to this performance suite, which utilizes CINEMA 4D for both CPU and video-based testing. We're concentrating on the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, processes a large, detailed image file on-screen, times the overall performance, and displays the results. CINEBENCH 9.5 upgrades on the older 2003 version by dynamically shifting the processing on the fly. If one core is finished its job, the program automatically segments the remainder of the image, thereby speeding up processing times considerably. Another factor of this change is that it rewards true physical cores, while lowering performance on Hyper-Threaded systems.

    The CINEBENCH 9.5 benchmark scores have the AMD processors keeping pace with their Intel counterparts, with the noted exception of the quad core model. The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ did very well, finishing between the Core 2 Duo E6700 and E6600 processors.

    WinRAR 3.62 Performance

    WinRAR is one of the most popular compression programs, and it even includes an internal benchmark program that measures the performance of the RAR compression and decompression algorithm using a demanding worst-case data set. This multi-threaded test offers a data throughput rating, and while it does not relate specifically to cache or memory transfers, we have found that the overall throughput numbers do adhere closely to the overall architecture. A faster clock speed certainly helps, but the score also ties in closely with memory, cache and CPU performance.

    WinRAR is another benchmark test that makes use of a dual core processor, and helps show off its real world advantages. The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ doesn't exactly blow the barn doors off in this test, but posts a respectable score against the Intel competition, and is tops in the AMD segment.

    Page 1 The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
  • Page 4 SANDRA XI, CINEBENCH 9.5 and WinRAR Performance
    Page 5 MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DivX 6.4 Performance
    Page 6 3DMark06 Pro, DOOM 3 and FarCry Performance
    Page 7 Quake 4, F.E.A.R. and CoR Performance
    Page 8 Company of Heroes, Prey and Splinter Cell: CT Performance
    Page 9 Benchmark Analysis and System Power Consumption
    Page 10 Value and Conclusion

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