Multitasking Scenario 2: File Compression

For our next test, we simulated what would happen if we performed two disk intensive tasks at the same time: zipping the source code to Firefox while importing a 260MB PST file into Outlook 2003. You'll note that this is a slightly modified version of the test that we originally created; we modified the test by archiving the Firefox source instead of a single smaller file. The reason for this is that we wanted a more realistic test (from a file size/count perspective) as well as the ability to better discern between contenders.

We ran the same Firefox and iTunes tasks from the last test again, and then did the following:

1) Open Outlook.
2) Start importing 260MB PST.
3) Start WinRAR.
4) Archive Firefox source.

WinRAR remained the application in focus during this test.

Here, we looked at two metrics: how long it took WinRAR to compress our test file, and how many emails were imported into Outlook during the time that WinRAR was archiving. Let's have a look at the results:

Multitasking Performance - Scenario 2

Remember that Windows' scheduler will give, by default, priority to the foreground task, which is why we see such a strong showing from the FX-55 here. But let's take a look at the other main task that ran in the background, the Outlook PST import:

Multitasking Performance - Scenario 2

Here, we see that while the FX-55 completed the archive task quicker than the dual core AMD CPUs, it basically got nothing done on the import emails task. Here, the advantage of dual core is clear, and once again, we see that AMD and Intel are very close in performance, but with Intel taking the crown. Interestingly enough, Hyper Threading is a major hindrance to Intel here as the Extreme Edition is significantly slower than the HT-disabled Pentium D 840.

The Real Test - AnandTech’s Multitasking Scenarios Multitasking Scenario 3: Web Browsing
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  • Quanticles - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    #63

    you going to hire anand as a consultant? lol
    Reply
  • Viditor - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    Anand...thanks muchly for the reply!
    I guess I just wanted to know if you had compared memory timings (I should have known that you had!).

    I'm just trying to get a handle on what will perform well and under what circumstances (I don't know if you noticed above, but I just had a colleague put a hold on a $90,000AUD order because of many of todays reviews...your input really DOES matter!).
    While rendering speeds are the paramount issue for me, multitasking is also important.
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    Overclock it! :D Reply
  • Viditor - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    Nat, thanks for the reply.

    "for some reason the high end P4's have *felt* like faster desktop processors to me"

    I hear what you're saying...to me, they don't seem faster but they do seem "smoother". It feels sort of like the AMD's drive in a lower gear but with higher RPMs, you may be going the same or faster speed but the ride's a lot "torquier" (is that a word?) so you both accelerate AND decelerate faster.
    Reply
  • GentleStream - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    OK, I'll be patient.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    #51
    Synthetic benchmarks do not generally correlate to real world applications. There's no bias, you're just a dumbass.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    GentleStream

    I'm still working on additional multitasking tests (including a skype/gaming test as well as the multitasking compile test) but they didn't make it into this review.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • GentleStream - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    So where is the multitasked compile test? You did the compile test in the last review for building Firefox but did not do a parallel compile i.e.
    such as make -j 4. That is the test which I was really looking for.
    Reply
  • fitten - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    #46 Actually, no. I use (and write) multithreaded and multiprocess code every day for a living as well as for fun. I can't wait for the X2s to come out so I can buy one (I've been planning on it for over a year now!). I've already got everything picked out, I just need the dang things to be available!

    Btw, I'm also a gamer of sorts so I have to pay attention to both the programmer and the gamer inside me :P
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    "but that possibility is always there."

    I've always been very clear that this is *not* how things work at AnandTech. I specifically delegated all advertising duties to a separate company to ensure that there wasn't even a chance for manufacturers to have any influence on any AnandTech editors. From a business standpoint, you can run a much more successful business if your loyalties lay with your readers and their desires rather than with manufacturers. Credibility is everything and we'd have to be pretty stupid to sacrifice that for any amount of money or manufacturer favoritism. A lot of things in life just boil down to common sense, and how we work at AnandTech is one of them.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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