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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  • cHodAXUK - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Anand, Jason and Ross.. hell of a job guys, you have out done yourselves. As for the X2 4400+ preview results, holy shit is all I can say, better than I expected and those scores are WITHOUT the aid of an NCQ enabled drive. The cost is high, very high infact but the X2 just scales so much better than the equivelent Intel. All I want to see now is an X2 4400+ with the FSB overclocked to DDR500 speeds, I am really interested to see how much that extra 1gb/s+ of bandwidth helps a dual core setup. Perhaps that is something you can look into for us please Anand and Co? T.I.A. ;) Reply
  • Darth Farter - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link
    Current Intel Price List(3)

    Price in
    1,000 unit
    Performance Processors quantities

    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.33 GHz with 8 MB L3 cache $3692
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.00 GHz with 8 MB L3 cache $1980
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 2.83 GHz with 4 MB L3 cache $1177

    Value Processors

    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.66 GHz with 1 MB L2 cache $963
    64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP 3.16 GHz with 1 MB L2 cache $722

    Intel's not too shabby with pricing either... ;)

    btw Dual OPTERON vs 4way(?) XEON @ techreport
  • Groovester - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    65- Recommend you reread "A Look at AMD's Dual Core Architecture" page. The fact that AMD's Athlon64 and X2 memory controllers are on-die gives it a leg up on Intel's Pentium D's. On the X2, the communication between the two cores doesn't have to traverse the external FSB. Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    WHOODOGGIE!!! Reply
  • Quanticles - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    68 - he did the best he could, but the point is the same... lol. we're going to see some pretty amazing preformance from the real thing Reply
  • Son of a N00b - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    hit me up with one of these, four vid cards, some headphones and a 24' screen for hours of gaming bliss....w00t!

    anyway i can actually see also a game suddenly coming out written for dual core, with the developers pulling something outta their collective a$$'s....

    I'll wait for these to get a bit more refined though and the pwnage is clear that a dual core offers total uberness...

    good article anand...almost to complete lol...i actually have to save some time in my day to read em....gj!
  • fishbits - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    From the article: "Although the use of ECC memory and a workstation motherboard would inevitably mean that performance will be slower than what will be when the real Athlon 64 X2s launch, its close enough to get a good idea of the competitiveness of the Athlon 64 X2."

    Anand didn't "cripple" or "misrepresent" anything. He got as close as he could with the materials available to him, and made it clear that some liberties/extrapolation would be required.

    However, it does look promising that the X2 will perform even better than projected today. Just as Anand said up front.
  • KillerBob - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    You are right Griswold, and it was in these tests the Intel won the race;) Reply
  • Zebo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    Expect at least 15% more performance when real X2 is released.

    Anand crippled/misrepresented it by running a 175 in his tests... Which has ECC memory, 2T, and my guess is 3-3-3 (most all ECC ram is 3-3-3 since he does'nt say I must go with the odds).

    Talk about hamstringing a A64. Anands own tests show just how crippleing 2T is for A64 upwards of 10% alone less performance. I've shown 3-3-3 vs 2-2-2 to be signifigant in my mem matrix tread about 5% since A64's love low latency. ECC knocks out about 3-5% more performance due to extra wait state. Would the "real" X2 debuting at 18% faster be unfair?? I don't think so when paired with desktop memory.

    It's going to get REAL ugly on the desktop for Team Blue no matter how you slice the numbers when a real live X2 comes with un-buffered mem, LL and 1T since Intel already loses to a unadventurous server chip right now.
  • Fricardo - Thursday, April 21, 2005 - link

    64 - I'd like to know the same. I definitely won't buy a processor for more than 250, no matter what the performance is. I'm sure they'll drop eventually, but I wonder if that'll happen before 939 is completely obsolete and I have to buy an M2 mobo anyways...

    Also, something I've been wondering: if dual core does have such an impressive effect on desktop performance and future programs will be multithreaded to take advantage of dual core, how come nobody ever talks about making multi-socket desktop boards? A dual-939 setup with a couple of $120 OC'd Winnie's would be just as fast as the X-2 and a heck of a lot cheaper. Or you could slap a couple of X-2's in there when they actually come out and have sick performance.

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