Comparing Sockets: 939 vs. 940 vs. 754

To get a clearer idea of exactly what Socket 939 brings to the performance table, we brought some real test results to some of the speculation that has been brewing on the web as to whether 939 is really faster than 754. We suspect our objective tests of Socket 939/940/754 will fly in the face of some of the absurd speculation and sloppy test results that are being posted about the new Socket, but the truth is rarely as exciting as controversies created to stand out from the crowd.

The comparison is simple - there are the 3 sockets that all have processors that can run at 2.2Ghz. To keep the comparison as fair as possible we tested the 3 sockets -754, 940, and 939 with 3 processors with 1MB of on-chip cache all running the same 2.2GHz speed . This gave a head-to-head comparison of the single-channel memory controller of Socket 754 to the Dual-Channel Registered Memory of 940 to the latest Dual-Channel Unbuffered Socket 939.

Sockets were compared using the standard motherboard test suite to give a broad comparison of performance. General Performance was compared using Veritest Multimedia Content Creation 2004 and Business Winstone 2004. results were also compared in PCMark 2004.

General Performance - 2.2GHz & 1MB Cache

General Performance - 2.2GHz & 1MB Cache

Winstones are usually very static at a given CPU speed on a processor. Even wide variations in memory bandwidth and graphics performance rarely have much impact on the Winstone scores. The increases in Winstone scores were only 2.6 to 3% from 754 to 939, but the pattern was very consistent with 939 the fastest, 940 close to 939 and 754 slower than either socket for dual-channel memory. PCMark 2004 was an even more modest spread of 1.4% from slowest to fastest 2.2GHz.

High End Workstation Performance - SPECViewperf 7.1.1

Workstation performance is more sensitive to memory bandwidth, and we do see a wider range in variation among the 2.2GHz processors in SPECviewperf. 754 to 939 ranged from +6.5% in UGS to an 11.4% increase in DX. Considering the CPU's are all the same core at 2.2GHz this is a wide variation just from different memory controllers. The pattern was the generally the same fastest to slowest of 939-940-754, except 940 did outperform 939 in a couple of the SPECviewperf benchmarks.

Development Workstation Performance Comparing Sockets: Gaming Performance


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  • Pumpkinierre - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    That earlier french review couldnt get 4 DS sticks to work at DDR400:

    Still, I'd sooner have the dual bank memory than the extra cache. But if it is $800 and $600 then the Skt754s become good buys.
  • intercollector - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    #6 - With memory prices where they're at now, the more dimms the better.

    For example, if you were to be building a system right now, you'd be hard pressed to justify getting anything more than 1GB (2X512). This fills up 2 slots already, thus only allowing 1 free slot for upgrade in the future. If you were to upgrade with another 512 stick, you'd have 1.5GB, but all your spots filled. If you want this system to last a while, that might just not do.

    I say that 3 is definately the minimum you'd ever want, and wanting 4 is definately not out of the question.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    #5 - Is running four unbuffered DIMMs really that necessary? I mean... I haven't ever had more than two DIMMs since my 486, which technically didn't have any DIMMs... but it had 4 one MB SIMMs. Reply
  • mechBgon - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    One potential benefit to the Socket939 platform is that it should open the door to running four unbuffered DDR400 DIMMs. Reply
  • JGF - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Hmm, now Toms is reporting the $700US+ price of the 3800+ as well. This had better not be true. Roughly $50 seperating the FX line and the 'regular joe' A64 line?? Please AMD, tell me this isnt right... Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Well well well... looks like socket 939 isn't really worth waiting for, especially if it's priced a lot higher than socket 754. Socket 754, here I come :) Reply
  • JGF - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    Good read. Couple of disappointments (though not neccessarily wesley's fault):

    1. Pricing/availability - supplies of 939 parts are rumored to be VERY constrained and some quarters are even uttering the dreaded p-phrase (paper launch). Also early listings for the 3800+ are placing it at an astronomical $700US+ which is obviously bunk. SAtill we are without any official statement regarding price and availability.

    2. No 3700+ scores or even a word with what is happening there. With the rumored constraints on 939 and the fact that PCI-E from VIA or nvidia wont be around until late summer, I'm actually seriously looking into a 3700+ 754 system. When will we get info?!?
  • dvinnen - Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - link

    hmmm, 30 mins after the nda ended. Yall need to get on the ball. Reply

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