Application Performance using SYSMark 2004 SE

We'll kick off our look at general application performance with SYSMark 2004 SE as always, and we'll look at the overall score as well as the scores in each of the two suites - Internet Content Creation and Office productivity.

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

Clock-for-clock, Intel's Core 2 Duo is able to outperform its predecessor by 13% according to SYSMark 2004 SE's overall score. While the performance advantage isn't as dramatic as what we've seen on the desktop, comparing Core 2 to Pentium D, at 13% we're still looking at a performance gain that is noticeable in real world usage.

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

Drilling deeper and looking at the overall Internet Content Creation score, Core 2 Duo's performance advantage drops slightly to 10.7%. The performance increases we're seeing here highlight one very important point in current CPU architecture innovation. We're looking at a 10% increase in performance here, yet it required a 93% increase in transistor count to achieve (mostly because of the larger L2 cache, 4MB vs. 2MB). AMD and Intel are both looking to multi-core solutions to deliver better performance-per-transistor efficiency, rather than simply throwing more clock speed and cache at the problem.

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

Speaking of the impacts of a larger L2 cache, we may be seeing those here in the Office Productivity suite where Core 2 Duo holds a 15.1% lead over Core Duo. The advantage is large enough to be noticeable, and definitely appreciated when you look at the fact that the Core 2 Duo we're benchmarking here has the same MSRP as its Core Duo predecessor.

The performance increases also come from the modified pipeline and internals, but we will have to get ahold of a 2MB Merom chip to determine exactly how much of the improvement comes from the added cache and how much comes from the reworked architecture.

The breakdown of SYSMark 2004 SE tests are below:

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

General Performance - SYSmark 2004

The Test Platform Application Performance using PC WorldBench 5
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  • Spacecomber - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    I know that we are perhaps past the time for this, but I'd be curious how the Pentium M stacked up against its replacement, the Core Solo. It might shed some light on the roots for the Core line of processors. Reply
  • ksherman - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    I for one hope Apple pops these babies in the MacBook as well as the MacBook Pro. I have been reading a lot of rumors suggesting that Apple will only put Merom in the Pro model at first... Seems kinda goofy, since they purchase processors in *relatively* low quantity. Ive got my eye on the MacBook, so any performance increase with no price premium is always a plus, and I do plan on doing a lot of video editing/rendering Reply
  • mlittl3 - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    I'm waiting for the third revision of the Macbook Pro in the middle of next year. By this revision most of the problems with the new designs should be ironed out and these notebooks will probably be based on the Santa Rosa platform (800 MHz FSB). Right now I have a 1.5 GHz G4 Powerbook and it does what I need. I will upgrade to the Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (Merom) on the Santa Rosa platform. If you like your notebook right now, I would wait until then. This would give you the most stability and bump in performance in the near future. Expect the third revision sometime next summer. Reply
  • mlittl3 - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    To be more clear:

    First Revision - Macbook Pro 2.16 GHz Core Duo 667 MHz FSB 2 MB (1Q 2006)
    Second Revision - Macbook Pro 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo 667 MHz FSB 4 MB (3Q 2006?)
    Third Revision - Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo 800 MHz FST 4 MB (2Q 2007?)
    Reply
  • AndrewChang - Sunday, August 06, 2006 - link

    Santa Rosa... At the earliest? I mean, I supose with the Core 2 Duo being 'crippled' by a slow(er) FSB, it might be worth the wait. But what do you think Anand means by, at the earliest?

    Whats next after Santa Rosa? Does he know something we don't know? Well, thats a given, but now I'm sketched out about all this... Should we expect some early adopter problems with the introduction of this newfangled Robson technology? God, for a hardware enthusiast, who would've thought that making a new hardware purchase could be so tough. All I want is the fastest performing Merom/Leopard based Macbook Pro available. Am I really going to have to wait until at least Santa Rosa next year? It's going to be a long wait...
    Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Our final battery life test centers around wireless internet browsing, and thus we could only test the three Compaqs in this roundup that featured built in wireless.


    What three Compaqs?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    Didn't you see the three compaqs in the review? ;)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    now this is a test i can totally appreciate: everything is identical except the CPU, so you get to see what the REAL WORLD benefit of changing the CPU is in your REAL WORLD system that people might actually buy/own. ie, instead of maxing everything else out with parts 99% of people don't buy / can't afford.

    of course the result is that you see that the real world difference is only noticeable in some situations and with some programs. but hey, that's the reality of it and actually it's easy to see that since the pricing is comparable and all else the same, it's a decent upgrade and certainly a level of future-proofing as well.
    Reply
  • jones377 - Thursday, August 03, 2006 - link

    It was interesting to compare the numbers in this review with the previous Core 2 Duo desktop review where 2MB vs 4MB L2 cache was examined (although at 1,83GHz/1066)

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    Its not a perfect comparison but from what I can gather, there are significant improvements performance wise coming from the core, even in the non-FP/SSE related benchmarks. A favorite argument among some people is that the extra cache makes all the difference, I hope this will shut them up! (tho I really doubt it)
    Reply
  • iollmann - Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - link


    In SSE code, I see close to a factor of 2 performance increase from Yonah to Merom much of the time. These benchmarks are depressing. The improvement should be better than what we see. Does no one vectorize?
    Reply

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