Multitasking Scenario 3: Web Browsing

For our final benchmark, we decided to switch things up a bit and keep Firefox as our foreground application while background tasks ran.  To make things even more stressful, we had no less than 12 tabs open in Firefox, with our main tab being IGN's PSP website - which happens to be very Flash heavy. 

The iTunes and Newsleecher tasks from the first test scenario were also present in this one, plus we did the following:

Open Outlook, immediately import 130MB PST file and immediately switch app focus to Firefox.

We then recorded the total time required to import the new PST while Firefox was our foreground application.  The results were very interesting:

Multitasking Performance - Scenario 3

The most surprising is how poorly AMD did in this test. We actually had to exclude them from the graph as it distorted the bar lengths too much. AMD weighed in at over 27 minutes; from actually using the system, it looks like Flash takes a much bigger performance toll on AMD platforms than it does on Intel.  The end result is that the scheduler devoted very little time to the Outlook process, resulting in the import taking an extremely long time. 

Ignoring the AMD outlier, dual core offered serious performance improvements over single core within the Intel realm alone.  The 840 completed the PST import in around 70% of the time of the 3.73EE.  Again, the gap would grow if more tasks were running, or if we were actually interacting with Firefox instead of just sitting there and reading one page (we confirmed this by actually doing it, but it is a little too difficult to do in a repeatable fashion for testing purposes). 

Multitasking Scenario 2: File Compression Dual Core System Impressions
POST A COMMENT

141 Comments

View All Comments

  • haveblue128 - Wednesday, July 6, 2005 - link

    Only downside but I think a majorleague heat solution should make everything sweet Reply
  • haveblue128 - Wednesday, July 6, 2005 - link

    Oh Please give us a break. If you want to be a purist, go live in the woods without clothes. I say that multitasking makes my day a breeze.
    Whats your dilemma??
    Reply
  • haveblue128 - Wednesday, July 6, 2005 - link

    Wow-I just purchased a new sys with an Intel Dual CPU setup. As a multitasking monster on my machine, I was always having crashes in the past.
    I think that is gone with George Bush in 2008. THe good news is the dual core pair is already hear and ready to run. Give them a try-no downside, albeit a good bit of heat. That is something I will need to work on, but....
    Reply
  • peufeu - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    I forgot to mention... gentoo linux ;) Reply
  • peufeu - Monday, May 9, 2005 - link

    Dual CPUs to compensate for the inept MS Windows.
    Interesting.

    I'm torturing a webserver I just wrote, on my laptop. It's in Python. Right now it's serving about 2000 requests per second with 1000 concurrent connections.

    I don't even notice it's running. The CPU gauge is at 100%, so what ? Nothing special. As reactive as usual. It doesn't swap. The harddisk even put itself in standby....

    Go, bill, go !


    Reply
  • shady28 - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link


    Making special tests just for these processors seems a bit contrived to me. In particular, comparing dual core processors to a Pentium 4 with HT disabled, in a multithreading/multitasking benchmark, is just plane lame.

    I would have been a lot more interested in seeing how dual core compares in multitasking vs dual opterons or dual Xeons. Right now it looks like dual core is slower at doing one task at a time, suprisingly not that much faster at doing two tasks at a time than HT Pentium 4s. The only exceptions were the off the wall tests done at the end.

    Since these new 'benchmarks' are made to simulate 'real life use', does that mean that all Anand's previous reviews were bogus?

    Reply
  • JimGunn - Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - link

    I think I will want one of these for my next video editing & encoding workstation. Will come in handy for HDV post I am sure! Reply
  • BoBOh - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    Where are the code compile tests. We're not all gamers, some are software developers! :)

    BoB
    Reply
  • warath - Friday, April 8, 2005 - link

    I can't wait to see 64-bit dual cores! :) Reply
  • WoodenPupa - Thursday, April 7, 2005 - link

    Well, I'm not a tech whiz like everyone else here, but here's my 2 centavos...

    I can attest to the fact that every machine I ever buy, I bring it to its knees. I usually wait several generations before I upgrade in order to get a more profound effect. Yet that strategy doesn't seem to matter because no matter how fast my computer is, I find that my NORMAL computing habits end up crushing the CPU and everything else.

    I use Cool Edit Pro and some other audio programs, and I am also a chess player, and like to anyalyze games in the background with Fritz or Chessbase, both of which allow for gigantic hash tables. So as a typical case I like to do wave transforms and chess analysis as background items while I compose e-mails or use Word for more serious writing. Naturally I like to listen to music at the same time, but usually I have to give that up. Needless to say, all of this stuff cripples my computer---I'm due for an upgrade, I know---my box is a 2.53 GHz P4, 1 GB of Rambus 800 (no groaning, please), a GF4 ti 4600, 120 GB HD, I'm not even sure what the cache on that is, I don't think it's 8 or 5 MB---feels more like 2.

    I usually end up quitting the Chess program or the Mp3 player---once in a while I can do all of this stuff concurrently if the wave transforms on cool edit aren't too complex, and I minimize the hash tables on the chess program.

    Ideally I want everything to be instantaneous, but...:) Anyway, from what it sounds like, I need a dual or even quad processor setup. Because even with all the above mentioned programs running, I can think of more I would like to add. I'm a monster multitasker and really like to kick a computer right in the face, to show it who's boss. I'm tired of winning, though---I'd love it if one day the computer just scoffed at everything I threw at it. Sadly, I don't think it'll happen in my lifetime.

    Should I upgrade to a dual core, or should I save and get a true multi-CPU Mobo like a quad Xeon??
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now