Audio Encoding

Lame was compiled from source without optimizations. We only ran ./configure and make, without any flags. We realize that some people would like to verify our binaries and sample files for their own benchmarks. In order to save bandwidth and prevent copyright infractions, we will provide our test files and binaries under limited circumstances to serious inquiries. We ran lame on a 700MB .wav file using the command equivalent to the one below:

# lame sample.wav -b 192 -m s -h >/dev/null

Encoding time, lower is better.

lame 1.96


Although POV-RAY is limited in application (particularly when compared against Mental Ray), it does provide a free open source solution for basic rendering. POV-Ray 3.50c was our choice of render engine for this benchmark. For benchmark specifics, we run the exact benchmark as specified by the POV-Ray official site. We use the precompiled RPM for this test.

Render Time in Seconds, less is better.

POV-Ray 3.05c

POV-Ray does not have multithread support, so we were not surprised to see the HyperThreading configuration slowing down to the configuration without HT. We see the Athlon 64 processor pull way ahead; render tasks are extremely CPU and memory dependant. With the memory controller on the CPU, Athlon 64 becomes the stronger offering in this situation.


To throw in some rudimentary tests for GZip, we used the included GZip 1.3.5 to compress the .wav file from the benchmark above. We do not want to limit our I/O on writing to the hard drive, so the operation is performed as below:

# time gzip -c sample.wav > /dev/null

Gzip 1.3.5

Intel wins their first bout of the analysis, albeit not by much. We will find a recurring pattern later on with integer based calculations and the Nocona Xeon processor. The entire Prescott family of Intel CPUs received a dedicated integer multiplier rather than continually using the floating point multiplier. This becomes extremely useful in some of our other benchmarks.

Database Performance

We will run the standard SQL-bench suite included with RPM MySQL 4.0.20d.

MySQL 4.0.20d - Test-Select

MySQL 4.0.20d - Test-Insert

Of all our benchmarks, the SQL-bench becomes the most baffling. The extremely threaded database application performs particularly poorly with HyperThreading enabled. The Althon 64 outperforms Intel again in this benchmark, and a lot of it is almost certainly accredited to the on die memory controller again.
Update: We copied the 32-bit marks from our benchmark in previous testing instead of the 64-bit. You can view the previous articles here from a month ago. The graphs have also been updated.
Index Synthetic Benchmarks
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  • dfxshadow - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    I will admit, i am an AMD fanboy, i was loyal to AMD since the k6-2 days. I ran AMD when intel was stomping us... Now we get a better product, and this, A review comparing a Desktop pc processor. with the very best that intel can pull off. and it only manages to win by a few.. Compare it to an opteron 250, i do belive the 250 will bench 2 or 3 times more than this new intel, It is good to see competition. But, is it really worth trying to glorify sub par technology.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - link


    EMT is some medical something. EM64T is the actual terminology.

  • caliden - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    Oh dear. I'm sorry to say that this review is so full of conceptual and methodological holes that I can almost hear generations of scientists, reviewers and geeks in general turning in their graves.

    Does anandtech have no peer review procedure? No one checks articles before they are published? It's such a shame, because this has made me think twice before accepting what I read here as objective fact.
  • johnsonx - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    Just wondering, is 270 comments (not counting this one) a record?
  • dark0n3 - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    I see lots of pro-AMD comments here, but I think noone noticed one issue about this test that might make intel scores look worse than they really are.

    Because Xeon's pipelines are much longer than pipelines in A64/Opteron, their performance is more dependant of optimizations. And from my experience, gcc does not produce binaries that have comparable quality to binaries that any windows compiler produce. (and disabling all optimizations in some tests...) I wonder how results would look, if programs were compiled with intel's linux compiler instead. See performance delta on windows for reference [gcc vs icc]: I'd expect same ratio to apply in unix benchmarks.
  • TauCeti - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Hi Kristopher,

    "What the heck is an EMT64? "

    Because Intel changes terms for the AMD64 emulation mode every odd hour, YOUR test-system.os vendor ( SuSE 9.1 Pro) decided to stick to the EMT64 nomenclature.

    Not that it matters a lot...
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link


    What the heck is an EMT64?

  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

  • hifisoftware - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Yep, pretty stupid idea for this review. I have an old bicycle, why not compare it to EMT64... Ohh wait here is another great idea for the review: "What tastes better, EMT64 vs LCD TV vs Scroll wheel from the mouse?".... I guess I could continue like this for a while.

    Man do you really have so much trouble figuring out what to review?

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