Content Creation Performance

Adobe Photoshop CS4

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 Speed Test

Our Photoshop workload still runs better on Intel hardware, but the gap in performance between the 5800K and 3220 is smaller than it was between the FX-8150 and 2500K last year. While Bulldozer was pretty much unrecommendable, Trinity approaches tradeoff territory.

3dsmax 9 & POV-ray

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

Once again in a heavily threaded FP benchmark, the A10 and Core i3 perform very similarly. POV-Ray is another example of this below:

POV-Ray 3.7 beta 23 - SMP Benchmark

File Compression/Decompression Performance

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

Our multithreaded Par2 recovery test shows AMD with a small advantage over the Core i3 3220, although it obviously can't touch any of the more expensive quad-core parts.

Excel Math Performance

Microsoft Excel 2007 SP1 - Monte Carlo Simulation

Not all heavily threaded FP applications are easy wins for AMD. In our Monte Carlo simulation benchmark the 3220 manages a decent lead over the A10-5800K.

Sorenson Squeeze Pro 5 - Flash Video Creation

Our old Sorenson Squeeze test is one area where we see a slight regression compared to Llano. Like I mentioned earlier, this isn't super common but it does happen from time to time given the dramatic architecture difference between Llano and Trinity.

General Performance - SYSMark 2012 Video Transcoding Performance


View All Comments

  • wenbo - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    It would be good to know the price for each of the PC build that was bench marked. Reply
  • owlxp - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Your math seems a bit off here:

    i3-2100 set up:
    cpu - 120
    mobo - 130
    gpu - 70
    ssd - 150
    case - 50
    psu - 50
    memory - 55
    total = 625

    trinity 5800k set up:
    apu - 130
    mobo - 60
    ssd - 150
    case - 50
    psu - 50
    memory - 55
    total = 495

    If we're talking entry level gaming...........I'll take trinity and the extra $130
  • wenbo - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I meant if you want trinity, don't you want crossfire? So that is 70 dollars at most. And A10 is unlocked that means overclocking, so you need a bigger fan which is 30 dollars. Motherboard is a bit more than 60 dollars, at least I couldn't find one that cheap.

    But I bet you are right, as soon as the holiday season motherboard price will drop to 80 - 90 dollars. If you don't care about overclocking, that's another 30, and yes, you can play most games in medium to low settings with respectable framerate without crossfire.

  • Tech-Curious - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Why are you paying $130 for a motherboard to be used in a budget i3 rig? Do you really intend to pair a locked, budget CPU with a z77 chipset? Grab up a B75 for $60-70.

    I realize that AMD-chipset motherboards have a long-standing reputation for cost-efficiency relative to their Intel counterparts, but the facts just don't conform with that reputation right now.

    I'm also not sure why you're paying $55 for memory; I grabbed up a pair of 4GB DDR3 1600 Kingston modules a week or so ago for $30 on Newegg. Granted, that was a sale price, but the same modules are only $40 normally. In fact, if we're to compare apples to apples, the memory subsystem will tend to cost you more on current-gen AMD platforms because the AMD platform wants for higher-speed memory.

    (I am, of course, assuming that you're using USA-market pricing. If not, I apologize, but I still don't see why you think it's fair to compare a random AMD bundle deal against your seemingly hat-picked price scheme for a comparable Intel box. There are bundle deals for Intel products too.)

    For what it's worth, the build I just ordered about a week ago (mostly from newegg, unfortunately the shipping's been delayed by Hurricane Sandy) consists of the following:

    Intel Core i3 3220 - $100 (in-store pickup deal at Microcenter)
    ASUS P8B75-M (B75 chipset) - $70
    HIS Radeon HD 7850 (1 GB version) - $165
    2*4GB Kingston HyperX XMP DDR3 1600 (cas 9) - $30 with discount promo code
    Seasonic M12II 520 Bronze power supply - $69
    Intel 330 SSD 240GB - $180
    Windows 7 x64 Home Premium - $80 with discount promo code
    Random cheapo DVD drive - $15

    Total - 709

    Granted, I didn't buy a case because I already have one. Granted, I found a number of limited-time deals. I also splurged (a lot) more than your average budget builder on the SSD and power supplies. (For me, finally, the extra convenience of the larger SSD was worth going over budget by a fair amount. I'm also a shameless fanboy of Seasonic power supplies, and I like to have a little extra power head room.)

    I'm sure more savvy system builders could do more with the money I spent, too. The only reason I'm laying out what I bought is to give people an idea of what can be done if you're willing to hunt around a bit and be patient. You can wring a great deal of performance out of either an AMD or Intel system on a pretty tight budget.

    Sorry for the mini novel.
  • Tech-Curious - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    Check this out, for a budget Intel bundle, btw:

    Intel Core i3-3220 Dual-Core, Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V Motherboard, Mushkin DDR3 8GB Memory, Mushkin 120GB SSD, Gigabyte ATX Mid Tower Case, Rosewill 400W PSU SuperCombo
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Looking through the narrow lens of A10 vs i3, I would absolutely choose Trinity since it fits my needs better. However, there is no upward scalability and there never will be. With LGA 1155 you could start with a < $50 Sandy Bridge based Celeron G530. You can go from there to any price/performance point up to an i7-3770K for $329. Then there's the enormous LGA 1155 motherboard footprint. Newegg has 254 LGA 1155 motherboards listed right now! That kind of competition has put a lot of downward pressure on pricing.

    Even for a cheap HTPC build I'm not sure I could justify an FM2 build vs. LGA 1155, the market is just flooded too heavily in Intel's favor giving you so many options to repurpose whatever you build. Trinity just doesn't make sense for me on a desktop. Mobile Trinity where I won't ever upgrade the CPU/ I've got something to get excited about. In smaller form factors without room for a discrete GPU (somewhere between 10" and 13"), they could have a very competitive product. Give me an X230 successor with Trinity and a 1080p IPS panel and I'll throw money at you.
  • owlxp - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Well AMD did promise to keep the FM2 socket for their gen 3 cpus. I think Trinity is good enough to get you to 2014. If the gains in the next gen apu's are anything like what we saw from llano to trinity, that extra $130 I saved in going with the trinity build now, just paid for my upgrade a couple years from now.

    However, I completely get where you're coming from. I'm struggling with the same problem as I prepare for my next upgrade.
  • Aone - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    We have been hearing many times from AMD that iGPU inside APU are so powerful that they would kill off cheap dGPU. That what I have expected to see in the review: Pentium+cheap dGPU vs. APU(w/o dGPU).

    As to cheap prices for APU, we have to keep in mind that 1155 MBs are ~20$ cheaper than FM2 MBs, and APU systems need faster and therefore more expensive RAM than Pentium+d.GPU systems. to get better GPU performance.
  • mikato - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    It will get there in time. I suggest you check how fast the iGPU performance has grown with AMD's APUs. And they're just getting started. You know they do make high end GPUs and now they've proven they can put their GPUs on die with the CPU, so they will be putting this tech into their APUs. Reply
  • Aone - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Who being in his right buys high-end discrete GPU for cheap CPU or APU?

    Plus, those who buy cheap CPUs usually don't have money for high-end discrete GPU.

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