Windows 7 Application Performance

3dsmax 9

Today's desktop processors are more than fast enough to do professional level 3D rendering at home. To look at performance under 3dsmax we ran the SPECapc 3dsmax 8 benchmark (only the CPU rendering tests) under 3dsmax 9 SP1. The results reported are the rendering composite scores.

3dsmax r9 - SPECapc 3dsmax 8 CPU Test

Cinebench 11.5

Created by the Cinema 4D folks we have Cinebench, a popular 3D rendering benchmark that gives us both single and multi-threaded 3D rendering results.

Cinebench 11.5 - Single Threaded

With only a 100MHz clock speed advantage over a 2600K when running in single core turbo mode, the 3820 isn't much faster than the 2600K in our single threaded Cinebench test. The additional L3 cache doesn't have much of an impact here, although I suspect that has more to do with this particular workload rather than a general statement about the 3820. Let's look at multithreaded perf:

Cinebench 11.5 - Multi-Threaded

The performance gap increases to 5% once we ramp up thread count. The extra performance is mostly due to clock speed here, although you'll see later on that there are some applications that definitely appreciate the larger L3 cache.

7-Zip Benchmark

While Cinebench shows us multithreaded floating point performance, the 7-zip benchmark gives us an indication of multithreaded integer performance:

7-zip Benchmark

The 7-zip benchmark gives us a good example of what the SNB-E platform can offer given the right workload. Here we see an 8.6% performance advantage, despite a much smaller clock speed advantage. The added L3 cache helps out a bit here, although obviously there's a huge gap between the 3820 and its hexa-core brethren.

PAR2 Benchmark

Par2 is an application used for reconstructing downloaded archives. It can generate parity data from a given archive and later use it to recover the archive

Chuchusoft took the source code of par2cmdline 0.4 and parallelized it using Intel’s Threading Building Blocks 2.1. The result is a version of par2cmdline that can spawn multiple threads to repair par2 archives. For this test we took a 708MB archive, corrupted nearly 60MB of it, and used the multithreaded par2cmdline to recover it. The scores reported are the repair and recover time in seconds.

Par2 - Multi-Threaded par2cmdline 0.4

In tests that have more of an IO influence the difference between the 3820 and the 2600K is negligible, it will take higher clock speeds and more cores to really separate SNB-E from the vanilla SNB systems.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

TrueCrypt is a very popular encryption package that offers full AES-NI support. The application also features a built-in encryption benchmark that we can use to measure CPU performance:

AES-128 Performance - TrueCrypt 7.1 Benchmark

Encryption speed once again scales with core count and clock speeds, the additional L3 cache doesn't do much in this benchmark.

x264 HD 3.03 Benchmark

Graysky's x264 HD test uses x264 to encode a 4Mbps 720p MPEG-2 source. The focus here is on quality rather than speed, thus the benchmark uses a 2-pass encode and reports the average frame rate in each pass.

x264 HD Benchmark - 1st pass - v3.03

We see a slight advantage over the 2600K in our x264 HD benchmark, however video transcoding doesn't benefit all that much from the small gains the 3820 offers. Most client users would be better off with the Quick Sync enabled 2600K, and the serious video professionals will want to invest in a six-core 3930K at the minimum.

x264 HD Benchmark - 2nd pass - v3.03

Compile Chromium Test

You guys asked for it and finally I have something I feel is a good software build test. Using Visual Studio 2008 I'm compiling Chromium. It's a pretty huge project that takes over forty minutes to compile from the command line on the Core i3 2100. But the results are repeatable and the compile process will stress all 12 threads at 100% for almost the entire time on a 980X so it works for me.

Build Chromium Project - Visual Studio 2008

Again we see a step function improvement when moving from four to six cores in our compile test, but no change between the 2600K and 3820. If you're building a dev workstation you're going to either want to save money and grab a 2600K or move to six cores for better performance. It is worth mentioning however that if you need eight DIMM slots the 3820 might be a better option than the 2600K, allowing you to outfit your workstation with insane amounts of memory.

Excel Monte Carlo

Microsoft Excel 2007 SP1 - Monte Carlo Simulation

Our Monte Carlo simulation test is CPU bound but the 3820 shows a marginal improvement over the 2600K.

SYSMark 2007 & 2012

Although not the best indication of overall system performance, the SYSMark suites do give us a good idea of lighter workloads than we're used to testing. SYSMark 2007 is a better indication of low thread count performance, although 2012 isn't tremendously better in that regard.

In 2007 we see mild gains over the 2600K, although 2012 shows a much bigger gap between the 3820 and the 2500K due to the former's support for 8 threads vs. 4.

SYSMark 2007 - Overall

SYSMark 2012 - Overall

The Chip & Overclocking Gaming Performance


View All Comments

  • Tetracycloide - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    I like the way you think. Reply
  • vectorm12 - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    I doubt the extra PCI-e lanes have a tangible real-world benefit when gaming to be honest.

    However if you use the cards mainly for compute I in no way doubt there's potential for a massive performance increase to be had as shown by the 7970 review.

    All in all I consider SNB-E to be a gigantic letdown as it really doesn't cater to enthusiasts as much as to workstation users.

    Considering the cost of the platform I doubt one of the lower tier XEON platforms wouldn't be more cost-efficient in the long run, considering ECC RAM etc.
  • thunderising - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Was expecting more improvements from this TOCK of Intel's Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Ivy Bridge is right round the corner. Is anyone really buying a new system at the moment? Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Obviously there's a place at the very high end for the 6-core part, but a 4-core part at this level is pointless. Anyone who wanted a system of this performance already bought a 2500 or 2600K and overclocked the balls off it, so for those people, nothing less than Ivy Bridge or beyond will do.

    Beats me.
  • AssBall - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Well... This chip might get really interesting once we get the pricing numbers for Ivy Bridge. It is a solid chip I would consider if equivalent Ivy Bridge is priced high. I don't see any reason for Intel not to price Ivy Bridge highly either. They can compete with AMD on their lower end parts. Reply
  • Denithor - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Anyone who needs large amounts of RAM without the cost of 8GB sticks would be happy with this option. 8x4GB is much much cheaper than 4x8GB... Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    4gb sticks of ddr3 memory is about $3 to $4 dollars per gb
    8gb sticks of ddr3 memory is about $9 dollars per gb. These stick prices have gone down in price recently to much more reasonable levels.
  • Denithor - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Well, even at that rate it's still a considerable savings:

    8x 4GB x $4/GB = $128
    4x 8GB x $9/GB = $288

    For a net savings of ~$160. Which, combined with the lower price on the chip, would completely offset the increased cost of the motherboard.

    Plus, if 32GB just isn't enough, you could go 8x8GB which you simply cannot do on SB/IB setups (only ship with 4 physical RAM slots).
  • 14ccKemiskt - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    Well spoken! Reply

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