Multitasking Scenario 5: Compiling

Our final non-gaming multitasking scenario is quite possibly our most strenuous. It involves the following background tasks: iTunes playing a playlist, Firefox with the same 13 tabs open as in our other tests, and Newsleecher updating newsgroup headers. On top of those tasks, we compiled Firefox as well as ran our DVD Shrink operation on the "Star Wars Episode VI" DVD. Firefox remained the application in focus during the test.

The results were fairly interesting. First, let's look at how long it took us to compile Firefox:

Compiling + Multitaking Environment

The Athlon 64 X2 4400+ was stronger than either of the Intel CPUs in compiler performance, so it is no surprise that it is faster here. You'll notice that the single core Athlon 64 FX-55 isn't present in this chart - you'll find out why in a moment, but first, let's look at the performance of our DVD Shrink task that also ran in the background:

DVD Shrink + Multitasking Environment

Once again, AMD is ahead of the competition, thanks to better general performance as well as all of the benefits of their low latency architecture. As for why the single core Athlon 64 FX-55 wasn't included here, well in this particular test, the DVD Shrink operation would have taken over 13 hours - which doesn't exactly fit with our graph's scale. The compiler operation also took significantly longer to complete. Whichever task completed first would eventually have let the other finish sooner, but we didn't care to find out as it was already ridiculously longer than any of the dual core solutions.

Multitasking Scenario 4: 3D Rendering Gaming Multitasking Scenario


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  • ceefka - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    So, would an nForce 3 250 board work with an A64 X2? Reply
  • smn198 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    #4 "I find it strange why AMD did not release <2.2GHz A64 X2s? Maybe due to manufacturing issues?"

    When you make a dual core CPU, a defect on one of them makes the whole lot worthless. I believe that to try and reduce this, they can increase yield by producing lower clocked parts
  • L3p3rM355i4h - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    #9 you're dreamin' Theres no way that AMD can sell a 1.8ghz chip for sub-$200 when a frickin' venice is retailing for $179. A 1.8ghz chip would be upper $300 to lower $400s.

    But, damn the "X2" performs nicely. Just think, with a stable, higher performing motherboard with decent timings how much better it would get.
  • Shinei - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Nice, dual-core. AMD's going to be hurt badly by the lack of volume on their X2 units, though, considering that Intel's got the money to post minor losses on each chip sold just to regain their marketshare. I'm surprised AMD hasn't tapped IBM to give them one or two 65nm fabs to prepare for the A64X2 launch later this year... Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    hm hope fab36 would increaswe production capacity of AMD and lower the cost down a bit Reply
  • blckgrffn - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Awesome...I wish we could have seen a 4 socket 8 processor system rocking out with those four way xeons though, that would really illustrates some differences ;)

    I agree with the previous sentiment on the x2's, I hope they bring out a sub $200 1.8 ghz or so model. I will be sticking this in my desktop box, not my gaming box, so if they can't bring anything out under $200 I will probably have to go with Intel. Boo for that ;)

  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    It's a wonderful article Anand, always love yours.. very in-depth But you're forgetting mem timings??? Arr.:) Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Slobber:P Reply
  • blackbrrd - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    #4 AMD probably wants you to buy their single core cpus instead, as they are much cheaper to produce and easier to produce in quantities. AMD would probably have problems delievering a lower cost dual core in quantities .

    Who doesn't drewl for a A64 X2 after seeing this review??? I certainly do.

    The dual core intel wouldn't be so bad either, except for the amount of heat it produces off.
  • filterxg - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Nice article. AMD has obviously awoken a sleeping giant, and Intel is fighting back on the pricing front. Hopefully the gamble that AMD single cores can hold their own versus Intel Duallies is true on the mid-low end (at least for the near future). I won't be buying an Intel chip anytime soon (unless I need a laptop).

    Either way I figure I got 2.5 years before I need a dualcore, and by then who knows. So bravo to both companies for this innovation.

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