Intel's Pentium M Desktop Part II: ASUS' Pentium M to Pentium 4 Socket Adapterby Anand Lal Shimpi on March 24, 2005 1:31 PM EST
- Posted in
Business/General Use Performance
Business Winstone 2004Business Winstone 2004 tests the following applications in various usage scenarios:
- Microsoft Access 2002
- Microsoft Excel 2002
- Microsoft FrontPage 2002
- Microsoft Outlook 2002
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
- Microsoft Project 2002
- Microsoft Word 2002
- Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition 2003
- WinZip 8.1
Thanks to its extremely low latency L2 cache, the Pentium M has always done well in office applications. When paired with the ASUS CT-479 adapter and the i865 chipset, the performance barely improves over what we saw on the 855GME motherboards. The results aren't too surprising, since the Pentium M already did so very well and because office applications aren't generally memory bandwidth limited to begin with.
Office Productivity SYSMark 2004SYSMark's Office Productivity suite consists of three tests, the first of which is the Communication test. The Communication test consists of the following:
"The user receives an email in Outlook 2002 that contains a collection of documents in a zip file. The user reviews his email and updates his calendar while VirusScan 7.0 scans the system. The corporate web site is viewed in Internet Explorer 6.0. Finally, Internet Explorer is used to look at samples of the web pages and documents created during the scenario."
The Pentium M barely gets a boost in SYSMark's communication tests thanks to the new platform.
The next test is Document Creation performance:
"The user edits the document using Word 2002. He transcribes an audio file into a document using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 6. Once the document has all the necessary pieces in place, the user changes it into a portable format for easy and secure distribution using Acrobat 5.0.5. The user creates a marketing presentation in PowerPoint 2002 and adds elements to a slide show template."
The ASUS/Pentium M combo does far more respectably in the document creation tests, basically offering performance equal to the Pentium M 650 and 580, as well as outperforming the Athlon 64 4000+.
The final test in our Office Productivity suite is Data Analysis, which BAPCo describes as:
"The user opens a database using Access 2002 and runs some queries. A collection of documents are archived using WinZip 8.1. The queries' results are imported into a spreadsheet using Excel 2002 and are used to generate graphical charts."
But once again, performance returns to dismal in the final office productivity SYSMark test.
Mozilla 1.4Quite possibly the most frequently used application on any desktop is the one that we pay the least amount of attention when it comes to performance. While a bit older than the core that is now used in Firefox, performance in Mozilla is worth looking at as many users are switching from IE to a much more capable browser on the PC - Firefox.
The Pentium M was quite strong in WorldBench's Mozilla test when we first looked at the CPU on the desktop. Armed with more memory bandwidth and a slightly higher clock speed, the Pentium M gets a slight performance boost putting it on the heels of the Athlon 64 4000+ and FX-55.
ACD Systems ACDSee PowerPack 5.0ACDSee is a popular image editing tool that is great for basic image editing options such as batch resizing, rotating, cropping and other such features that are too elementary to justify purchasing something as powerful as Photoshop. There are no extremely complex filters here, just pure batch image processing.
The ASUS solution makes all the difference in the world as the chip is now more competitive with faster desktop offerings, yet still far from leading the pack in performance.
The Pentium M performed strongly here originally and the ASUS solution extended the lead, but not by a huge margin.
Let's look at how its peak theoretical performance is under WinRAR's built in benchmark:
WinRAR 3.40Pulling the hard disk out of the equation, we can get a much better idea of which processors are truly best suited for file compression.
The WinRAR test is particularly memory bandwidth intensive, so the move to a platform that can feed the Pentium M adequately increases performance tremendously. However, even with the boost, the best that the Pentium M can do is match the performance of Intel desktop CPUs. It still can't touch the Athlon 64s.