As we are covering multi-core processors, a more in-depth look at multi-threaded processor performance is certainly needed - without the limitations of single-threaded applications or component-specific benchmarks. We offer up three different multi-threaded benchmarks: CINEBENCH 9.5, CINEBENCH 10 and WinRAR.
CINEBENCH 9.5 & 10 Performance
CINEBENCH is a performance suite, which utilizes CINEMA 4D for both CPU and video-based testing. We use the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, which processes a large, detailed image file on-screen, and displays the test results. Both CINEBENCH 9.5 and 10 dynamically shift image 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. The main difference between the two is the image workload, with CINEBENCH 9.5 offering a more mainstream test, while CINEBENCH 10 gives the CPU a much tougher workout.
The CINEBENCH 9.5 benchmarking shows the Phenom 9900 as keeping up with the entry-level and mid-range Core 2 quad core processors, but it is unable to compete at the higher end. This is to be expected, and for reference, the 2.4 GHz Phenom 9700 offers performance on par with the Core 2 Quad Q6600. We do see a nice performance bump compared to the dual core Athlon 64 X2, especially when noting that the 6000+ has a 3.0 GHz clock speed. Next up we'll see how the Phenom 9900 handles the far more demanding CINEBENCH 10 benchmark.
Unfortunately, the CINEBENCH 10 benchmark scores are not as impressive, and now the Phenom 9900 finds itself dropping behind even the Core 2 Quad Q6600. This is a serious multi-threaded benchmark, and it just seems as if the Core 2 architecture is more suited to this type of processor load.
WinRAR 3.71 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.
The WinRAR benchmarking was one of the best surprises for the Phenom 9900, and AMD's fastest quad core takes the overall performance crown. We know that WinRAR benefits from overall processor and memory data transfers, and suggests that a true quad core architecture does pay off.