SYSMark 2007 Performance

Our journey starts with SYSMark 2007, the only all-encompassing performance suite in our review today. The idea here is simple: one benchmark to indicate the overall performance of your machine.

SYSMark 2007 - Overall

SYSMark 2007 is getting very long in the tooth and we're still another couple of quarters away from an updated version for 2011. That being said, it does function as a good representation of lightly threaded application performance. There's little to gain from moving to four cores here and basically nothing to be seen from the move to six cores. The Phenom II X6 1100T is within several percent of the performance of its Core i5/i7 competitors.

The lack of an L3 cache holds the Athlon II back, which is made evident by the solid performance increase seen by the 565 BE. Both of these parts are around 10% off of their competitive performance targets.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Performance

To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

The whole process is timed and thanks to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as our test bed hard drive, performance is far more predictable than back when we used to test on mechanical disks.

Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded and can hit all four cores in a quad-core machine.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 - Retouch Artists Benchmark

In our Photoshop CS4 test, AMD has effectively equalled the performance of the Core i5 with the Phenom II X6 1100T. The i7 860 is a bit faster but the i5 comparison is very close. The Athlon II X3 455 is 15% faster than its closest competitor, the Pentium G6950. The Phenom II X2 565 BE doesn't get many points for its large cache, it's the third core that puts the Athlon II X3 ahead here.

Introduction 3D Rendering Performance
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  • slagar - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - link

    I think part of the problem is that AMD is a minority, and this affects their image. Intel has that big, family-friendly, it's-everywhere-so-it-must-be-good appeal. AMD being the niche, it feels like an unknown, possibly unsafe option.
    In the shop, if you see 7:1 machines with Intel Inside vs AMD, not knowing much about computers, the safer bet seems to be the Intel, regardless of specs.

    Personally I'm rooting for AMD to catch up of course :)
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    You do realize that core i3, i5 and i7 for the socket 1156 all use the same socket? Feel free to drop a G6950 or i7 870 in there - the board doesn't care.

    Socket 1366 with 3 memory channels and the upcoming high end platform with 4 channels are where the fun ends. Oh, and Socket 1155 for Sandy Bridge breaking compatibility (again) sucks.

  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    misfit410 writes:
    > If I go i3, I have very few upgrade options, need a new motherboard for i5,
    > then If I want to move up from there yet another motherboard for i7..

    Why not just use a good P55 board? Supports all of them. eg. Asrock P55
    Deluxe, only about $110. I have one with an i3 540, another with an i5 760,
    and two with i7 870s, the latter overclocking nicely:

    And from what I've read so far, the i3s oc like crazy (I'm expecting good
    results, not started yet, but the chip is idling at only 17C with a TRUE).

    You don't need different mbds for these CPUs, just choose wisely.

  • rwgove - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    they didnt mention bulldozer, either. what's your point?
  • ckryan - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    I'm glad AMD topped of the tank. I like what they're doing, and as a recent AMD convert, I like to think the future is bright. But that's the problem. The future. I don't know what they've got in the works, but it will have to be funky to compete with Intel. As it now stands, you can't get more value for the money than buying an AMD processor. But even if you buy the newest AMD processor, its almost like you're already two years behind. I've bought 3 AMD processors in the past few months, and I like the value. Sooner or later though, AMD is going to have to seriously revamp their CPUs to stay in the race.

    Sometimes I feel like AMD is the USSR, and Intel is America. Yeah, they got a basketball into space. We landed on the moon. At some point, AMD isn't going to be able to lag behind as they are, just competing on price. If Intel sold a 32nm 4 core part for $150, it would end AMD as we know it. Sometimes I feel like AMD is running on borrowed time. Unlike the space race and arms race, no one at Intel tosses and turns at night thinking about what the next weapon coming out of AMD is. AMD needs to take about 10% more market share from Intel, then someone might start worrying. Still, even if AMDs run is over, the past few years have been awesome for consumers reaping the benefits of AMDs pricing.
  • OneArmedScissorB - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    "If Intel sold a 32nm 4 core part for $150, it would end AMD as we know it."

    AMD have already been selling $99 quad-cores for over a year. What would that change?

    Let me guess: you're inventing some hypothetical situation where Intel decides to just give away Sandy Bridge, their fancy new technology, when it's at the top of its game.

    And yet, that's exactly what you're accusing AMD of doing wrong. Stick to what you know, people. Being an "enthusiast" of something is a hobby and not a profession. There's a reason the people in charge of those things wear suits instead of comic book shirts and don't do anything remotely like what every backseat businessman of the tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny DIY desktop market suggests. :p
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    I believe what he means is that if Intel were to sell current Bloomfield/Clarksfield quad-core processors for $150 -- and let's be honest, they could do so considering the chips aren't bigger than the Thuban core -- then there would be less incentive to buy an AMD quad-core at $100. But then, Intel has never sold their top-flight processors for under $180 really, so we continue with the status quo.
  • Calin - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    AMD is not really a competitor for Intel right now, so Intel is happy to leave it be. On the other hand, AMD's existence lessen the weight of any "monopolistic practices" accusations against Intel.
    As for lowering prices... a price war hurts all the competitors, and Intel really has nothing to gain by selling more processors at lower prices
  • Finally - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    Sometimes I feel like AMD is the USSR, and Intel is America.

    space race and arms race

    Yeah. But you have to follow through with your historical anecdotes:
    The USSR couldn't compete with the industrial power giant USA, so it went bankrupt due to the - pardon the pun - astronomical - costs of a hi-tech (nuclear) arms race combined with a space program combined with a useless war of atrition in Afghanistan. They ran out of money, USA lost, hooray USA - that's where you'd like to close your book and pretend that (hi-)story is over and done with.

    The only thing is: It isn't over (yet)!
    You (i.e. the USA) are committed to the very same mistake. You are still trying to outrun yourselves in useless money wasters - except that you occupy not only Afghanistan, but also Iraq. I'm always astonished when I hear about the daily costs (was it a million per day? Several millions?) and how you (i.e. the American taxpayer) gladly pay up corrupt government contractors as well as evil private mercenary companies...

    If you keep spending like this your crumbling empire will vanish just like the USSR.
    It's an amusing irony that you trained, supplied and funded your own terrorist #1 to fight the eeevil Soviets :)

    You created your very own monster and now it's loose.
    With a budget of $2.50 for a bunch of box cutters he makes you spend millions and billions on "homeland" security. His plan works. You are terrified, crazed and spending your ass off in order to prevent terrorist attacks that are several thousand times less likely to kill you than dying from a peanut allergy...

    And this is why that analogy doesn't work.
    Intel is much bigger than AMD and has a R&D budget AMD could only dream of, but they are no superpower committed to throw their money out of the window...
  • Finally - Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - link

    It should be:
    "They ran out of money, USSR lost, hooray USA!"

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