The Clarkdale Review: Intel's Core i5 661, i3 540 & i3 530by Anand Lal Shimpi on January 4, 2010 12:00 AM EST
- Posted in
PAR2 Multithreaded Archive Recovery 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.
Our Par2 test gets a nice boost from more cores, making the i5 661 overpriced in this case. The i3s however do very well, outperforming the Athlon II X4 630 and the triple-core Athlon II 435.
WinRAR - Archive Creation
Our WinRAR test simply takes 300MB of files and compresses them into a single RAR archive using the application's default settings. We're not doing anything exotic here, just looking at the impact of CPU performance on creating an archive:
The lighter the desktop workload (as in the fewer stressful threads you have running) the better Clarkdale does. The Core i3s are particularly sensible here. It's basically Intel's answer to the Athlon II X4 600 series.
Microsoft Excel 2007
Excel can be a very powerful mathematical tool. In this benchmark we're running a Monte Carlo simulation on a very large spreadsheet of stock pricing data.
Intel believes that one of the biggest cases for Clarkdale in the business market is Excel performance. The Core i5 661 continues to be overpriced for what it is, but the i3 540 and 530 look very good here. They're can outperform the Athlon II X4 630 and draw less power. Nice.
Sony Vegas Pro 8: Blu-ray Disc Creation
Although technically a test simulating the creation of a Blu-ray disc, the majority of the time in our Sony Vegas Pro benchmark is spend encoding the 25Mbps MPEG-2 video stream and not actually creating the Blu-ray disc itself.
The i3s come pretty close to doing well in our Blu-ray creation test, but once again the i5 661 falls short thanks to its ridiculous price. The i3s are a reasonable alternative to the Athlon II X4 630.
Sorenson Squeeze: FLV Creation
Another video related benchmark, we're using Sorenson Squeeze to convert regular videos into Flash videos for use on websites.
Clarkdale isn't a good choice for this test, with the 661 matching the Athlon II X4 630. The i3 parts place below AMD quad-cores but above the tri-core offerings.