AMD Socket-AM2: Same Performance, Faster Memory, Lower Powerby Anand Lal Shimpi on May 23, 2006 12:14 PM EST
- Posted in
Does AM2 Reduce the Impact of L2 Cache Size?
We've already seen that Socket-AM2 doesn't really impact performance except for in games, but does the higher bandwidth memory controller reduce the impact of AMD's 1MB L2 cache parts compared to its 512KB L2 cache offerings?
|Benchmark - Athlon 64 X2 2.0GHz||Socket-939 (1MB vs. 512KB Advantage)||Socket-AM2 (1MB vs. 512KB Advantage)|
|Cinebench 9.5 Multi-Core Rendering Test||0.2%||0%|
|Adobe Photoshop CS2||2.7%||2.5%|
|Quicktime 7.0.4 (H.264)||0.9%||1.3%|
|iTunes 220.127.116.11 (MP3)||0%||0%|
|Quake 4 - 10x7 (SMP)||4.8%||3.5%|
|Oblivion - 10x7||7.5%||3.3%|
|F.E.A.R. - 10x7||8.6%||6.2%|
In the application benchmarks there isn't really a difference in how performance scales with cache size between the two platforms, but looking at the games there is indication of a pattern that is developing.
In Quake 4, Oblivion and F.E.A.R. the 1MB L2 cache seems to make slightly more of a difference on the Socket-939 platform than on the Socket-AM2 platform. While the 1MB cache offers a 4.8%, 7.5% and 8.6% performance advantage in those three games on the Socket-939 platform, on AM2 the advantage is cut down to 3.5%, 3.3% and 6.2% respectively. The explanation being that with a lower latency memory controller and more available memory bandwidth, the benefits of a larger cache are reduced on Socket-AM2.
However the differences in performance scaling that we're seeing here are small enough that once you take into account the amount of variation you can see between runs, it's not really worth concluding anything concrete based on this data. What we do see here is a trend of the 1MB L2 cache parts doing less on Socket-AM2 than on Socket-939 (another way of looking at it is that the 512KB are doing better on AM2 than they did on 939), but the margins are small enough that we can't really say for sure what is causing the trend.
Once again, the trend only seems to impact games, as the other application tests we've run appear to be basically unaffected.