Intel Core Duo (Yonah) Performance Preview - Part IIby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 19, 2005 12:55 PM EST
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|CPU:||AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2GHz/512KBx2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2.0GHz/512KBx2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.0GHz/1MBx2
Intel Pentium M 760 (2.0GHz/2MB)
Intel Core Duo T2500 (2.0GHz/2MB)
|Motherboard:||ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe
Unnamed 945G Yonah Motherboard
|Motherboard BIOS:||ASUS: Version 1013 Dated 08/10/2005
AOpen: Version 1.11 Dated 11/15/2005
|Chipset:||NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
Intel 915 Express
|Chipset Drivers:||nForce4 6.66
|Memory:||OCZ PC3500 DDR 2-2-2-7
|Video Card:||ATI Radeon X850 XT
NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX
|Video Drivers:||ATI Catalyst 188.8.131.52
NVIDIA ForceWare 81.85
|Desktop Resolution:||1280 x 1024 - 32-bit @ 60Hz|
|OS:||Windows XP Professional SP2|
While we used an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX for almost all of our tests, there was one exception, thanks to a NVIDIA driver bug. With dual core processors, NVIDIA's 81.95 drivers will cause the system to maintain 100% CPU utilization when running 3dsmax 7, even when the system is actually not doing anything at all. We didn't discover this bug until we had already run the majority of our tests using the 7800 GTX. So, for the 3dsmax 7 tests, we switched to an ATI Radeon X850 XT. The GPU doesn't impact CPU rendering performance at all, so it doesn't change the performance characteristics of the platform. We just wanted to point out the bug, in case any of you were wondering why your dual core platforms were behaving strangely in certain applications. NVIDIA is aware of the problem and is working on a publicly available fix.
For this comparison, we've kept the number of CPUs to a minimum, focusing on the Pentium M, Core Duo and Athlon 64 X2. The exclusion of the Pentium D was on purpose; we've already compared the Core Duo to the Pentium D in our last article and to put it bluntly, the Pentium D won't really be competition for any of Intel's new architectures. By this time next year, NetBurst will have already been forgotten and the real comparison that matters is how Core Duo stacks up to the Athlon 64 X2, whose architecture is not going the way of the dodo.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, in addition to the X2 3800+ and 4200+, we have included benchmarks of an Athlon 64 X2 running at 2.0GHz, but with a 1MB L2 cache per core (2MB total on die). The point of including this simulated "Athlon 64 X2 4000+" is to answer complaints that the Core Duo has a larger L2 cache than the X2 3800+ and thus isn't a true apples-to-apples comparison. So we've now leveled the playing field even more, and actually given AMD more of an advantage - the 2.0GHz/1MB L2 Athlon 64 X2 has a larger L1 cache (128KB per core vs. 64KB per core), and of course, the X2 still has its own on die memory controller.
With that said, let's see how things stack up now...