Business/General Use Performance

Business Winstone 2004

Business 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

AMD has always dominated performance under business applications, which is why in the past they have always been known as a good CPU maker for office applications. Obviously with the K7 and K8 series of processors AMD changed the rules of the game a bit, offering top of the line performance in far more than just office applications. However, despite AMD's improvements in performance elsewhere, the Athlon 64 continues to hold on as the fastest processor for business applications.

Here we see that there is no performance difference between the three 2.4GHz parts, which is to be expected considering the relatively small datasets and correspondingly low bandwidth nature of business applications.

Even the entry level Athlon 64 3200+ is able to outperform Intel's top of the line Pentium 4 560 here. While Intel will argue that performance here doesn't matter, what does matter is that AMD is faster at a lower price point. Even the old Athlon XP 3200+ is able to offer performance similar to the Pentium 4 550.

Business Winstone 2004

Office Productivity SYSMark 2004

SYSMark'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."

While the Athlon 64 FX-55 and 4000+ manage to land on top, it isn't by a huge margin. The FX-55 holds just under an 8% performance advantage over Intels Pentium 4 3.4EE. The Pentium 4 550 and Athlon 64 3800+ tie in the middle, while the 3400+ offers statistically similar performance.

What's interesting to note here is that the Athlon XP 3200+ manages to outperform, ever so slightly, the newer Athlon 64 3000+, thanks to a somewhat shorter pipeline and higher clock speed. What these results tell us is that the Communication test is much less dependent on the memory subsystem, rendering the on-die memory controller advantages of the Athlon 64 relatively useless. Our theories are confirmed by the fact that there's virtually no difference in performance in the single and dual channel memory configurations of the Athlon 64. There is, however, a boost in performance when going from a 512KB cache to a 1MB cache (3800+ -> 4000+), indicating that the datasets here are too big for a 512KB cache, but fit much better in a 1MB cache.

The Pentium 4 does relatively well here, with the Prescott based 90nm 560 offering similar performance to the Northwood based 130nm 3.4EE, with the higher clock speed able to make up for Prescott's other shortcomings.

Communication SYSMark 2004

The next test is Document Creation performance, which shows very little difference in drive performance between the contenders:

"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 inclusion of a speech recognition test as a part of this next benchmark immediately excludes the older generation of processors from being in the running for top performance spots. The lack of an on-die memory controller keeps the Athlon XP 3200+ at the end of the pack, while the more bandwidth friendly Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 platforms battle it out for the lead here.

The Athlon 64 FX-55 manages to secure a small 5% lead over the 3.4EE and the Pentium 4 560. It's not a noticeable performance lead in the real world, but it does stand on paper (or on web if you prefer). We once again see that there's no huge benefit to the 4000+'s 1MB L2 cache, but the dual channel configuration of our Socket-939 platforms clearly comes in handy, resulting in a 7% performance boost for the 3800+ over the single channel 3400+.

Document Creation SYSMark 2004

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."

Although not quite the enterprise level server database, MS Access does get used quite frequently in small to medium sized business environments to handle light database loads.

Here the Pentium 4s completely dominate, with the Prescott core truly extending the performance lead here. None of the AMD chips even stand a chance, not to mention the thrashing that the XP 3200+ gets. The Data Analysis tests do prove that despite the performance in other areas, there are a few pedestals that the Pentium 4 does continue to stand quite high upon.

Data Analysis SYSMark 2004

The Test Business/General Use Performance Continued
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  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    Hey Val, why don't you go to this link and look at a picture of your hero, Intel CEO Craig Barrett on one knee begging forgiveness for their shitty processors.

    Both Intel and AMD have difficulties. But your analogy of AMD being like the cheap car companies doesn't make sense. The expensive car companies like Ferrari, Porsche, etc. sell the best cars but are very small companies because not many can afford them. AMD is like these companies now because they sell the processors for a lot of money because they are really good. Just not everyone can afford them.

    But AMD is good for cheap processors too. Please find one review site that shows any Celeron doing better than a Sempron 3100+. Just one site. I want only to see you post that link in your next posting. Nothing else please because every thing you say is wrong and I'm sure Intel fanboys are telling you to stop making them look bad.
  • Gnoad - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    Eh, let him have his celerons, Intel will need the fan base soon to stay in business come 2005...
  • Rhl - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    First off, Val, you're ignorant. You shouldn't speak on subjects where you are grieviously misinformed, it makes your intelligence quotient seem very low.

    1. You think Celerons are fast? I'm sorry, what hole have you been living in? A 1.7 ghz Celeron is SLOW, and far outpaced by an Athlon 1.7 ghz. Almost by 2x as much.

    2. AMD doesn't design their own processors? May I ask who does then? INTEL? LOL. Sorry, but no, AMD does design all of their own CPU's.

    3. They don't care or support consumers/developers etc? OF COURSE THEY DO, AMD's track record of supporting "the little guys" (independent shops, consumers etc) is FAR better than Intel, who doesn't care much at all for the "little guys". What you have stated is just plain WRONG.

    4. AMD is alot cheaper than Intel, and is ALOT better as well. They beat Intel in real world benchmarks 9 times out of 10. You think because they're cheaper they're worse? How old are you? You need to do some research, kid.

    5. You're right, nobody expects AMD to be as good as Intel... BECAUSE THEY'RE BETTER. AMD is flatout kicking Intel's ass, and has been since the original Athlon was released.

    I think, val, that your brain is too "cold down", as you say, and it's not working as well as it should. Go research AMD vs Intel, and check out the realworld benchmarks. If that doesn't change your mind, go buy a Dell, you silly ignorant little fool.

  • screech - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    #64: celeron=too fast? seems like you haven't owned a celeron......anyway, why pay more for a crappy celeron when AMD can offer more performance for less money? (I am talking about the older celerons, ie 1.7, celeronD isn't that bad although sempron 3100 still wipes the floor with it).

    AMD only copies intel? where did intel's EMT64 (or whatever its called) come from? realistically both copy each other, although it looks like intel should have done more copying of a shorter pipeline a la AMD, given that the prescott seems to have been a failure. (no 4 ghz).

    AMD is cheap, doesn't care for quality? Ladies and gentlemen, seems like Kanavit from THG has decided to start trolling around here...I heard him say that exact same thing a while back over there. anyway, this is such BS that it is hilarious. What kind of flawed logic says that better performance=cheap processors? haha. :D

    anti intel BS based on fool snthetic benchmarks? LMAO. I agree that many synthetics are dumb, because often they do not reflect real performance in applications (intel high clocks often win the synthetics but then AMD's processors often win real world benchies), but AMD owns intel in jthe majority of benchmarks. I suppose you consider AMD winning (except for a tie or 2) EVERY gaming benchmark, an "if than" or synthetic? UT2004 is theoretical? it doesnt exist?

    on another note, good job discrediting the only benchmarks that intel usually wins--synthetics.

    I hope you wake up and smell the coffee.
  • Gnoad - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    haha, its kinda funny watching someone defend their opinion to the bitter end even though its blatantly wrong and totally misinformed. No offense val, but seriously, you got a lot of reading to do to catch up with the current realities in the CPU world.
  • val - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    #63: i am not ignorant fool and try to control your self a bit.
    1,7 celeron is pretty old, 3 years or more, but i am sure that for many tasks even this is fast too much. I am sure that if you feel that the mentioned celeron was slow, it was because you was playing on it (what it was not supposed to be for) or rest of system was bad designed (HDD, memory,...)

    #61: now i am happy that AMD is here, same as i am happy that there is cheap cars to buy, competing is good for all. i call for even more competitors to drop prices to real level (as in mainboards they are), same for GCs.
    What i am trying to tell you, that AMD is only manufacturing what somebody else designs, they dont care and dont support products and developers, dont care for chipsets quality, certificates, nothing. This leads to that overall quality of AMD platform is far from what you can get with similar price based on Intel.
    So cold down, AMD is cheap, is supposed to be cheap, nobody expects to be as good as intel with all their background. Stop that anti intel BS which is based on fool synthetic benchmarks and theoretical "if than" visions.
  • michaelpatrick33 - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    The power consumption graph is wrong because it shows the AMD 3000+ and 3200+ as having dual channel but the power usage shows the same as the 130nm chips. AMD only makes the 3000+ and 3200+ for 939 on 90nm I thought so unless the 90nm 3000+ and 3200+ runs with more power than the faster 3500+ 90nm the graph needs to be changed. Just a stickler sorry.
  • AtaStrumf - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    Vai you need to pull you head out of your ass and smell the air. WTF are you talking about??? Sure AMD has had their share of troubles (who hasn't, Intel certainly has), but saying what your're saying just makes me think you're an ignorant fool.

    It's exacly that kind of thinking that makes people buy Celerons (I mean it's Intel right, so it can't be bad), and they I have to deal with 1,7 GHz piece of crap like I did yesterday for example. God that is SLOOOOOOOOOW!
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    #49, #50, #52, #54, #55, #60 (Val)

    Do you think AMD should go out of business and that Intel should be the only company out there? I am guessing you are from another country so you probably also hate (never seen) an Apple. Do you think no one should choose apple? Do you wish that apple should go out of business? What about Via and Transmeta processors (C3 and Crusoe)? Do you hate those companies too and wish them out of business? Do you think their processors suck?

    You talk about choice in your #54 post (I'm assuming you don't know what choice means) yet you want everyone to choose Intel because you don't know how to build a pc properly. If you base your decision not to buy AMD because you've had troubles in the past and you are assumming that everyone will have troubles, then how did AMD make ~$1.25 billion in revenue last quarter? Did they make that money selling lemonade?

    Just because a company doesn't have a large presence in whatever country you are from doesn't make them inferior products. I don't know if you have heard the statement that competition drives progress. If AMD, VIA, Transmeta, Apple, IBM, etc. etc. did not exist because Val can't get an AMD system running and demands everyone use Intel, then what motivation does Intel have to bring good products to market? The 1 GHz race is what got Intel to improve its processors and maybe even release the Pentium 4. The addition of 64-bits to AMD and Intel processors got software and hardware companies to start optimizing their products for the new tech. Hell, now with Dual-core being pushed by both companies, multi-threaded apps (and hopefully this will include games) will be developed by software companies as well.

    If we had just Intel which I'm assuming you pray was the case everyday, then we would have non-64bit, ~2 Ghz, non-dualcore, non-HT, pentium 3's right now.

    You must live under a rock and think AMD is still the company it was back in the early 1990's. Both Intel and AMD are necessary in the market and both of their processors and other products are used by a large number of people. More people use Intel right now and AMD has the right to try and get more people to use them and they are.

    What exactly are you trying to tell us?
  • val - Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - link

    58: thank you for information, i use Kingston or infineon on rated values which are properly detected over SPD. Maybe not on mainboards for AMD, i dont know. PSU i use Intel or Enermax with appropriate power. In my HTPC i have some noname, but it runs with no problem.

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