|ASRock AOD790GX/128M AM2+ Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 11 March 2009|
Page 13 of 16
EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC. All of the benchmarks used in our test bed: Queen, Photoworxx, and AES, rely on basic x86 instructions, and consume very low system memory while also being aware of HyperThreading, multi-processors, and multi-core processors.
The EVEREST Queen benchmark puts the ASRock AOD790GX/128M with the Phenom II 720BE 36% ahead of the P45/E7300 Intel solution. Don't let the benchmarks fool you though, because the Queen and Photoworxx tests are synthetic benchmarks that operate the function many times over and over-exaggerate by several magnitudes what the real-world performance would be like. The Queen benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and misprediction penalties of the CPU. It does this by finding possible solutions to the classic queen problem on a chessboard. At the same clock speed theoretically the processor with the shorter pipeline and smaller misprediction penalties will attain higher benchmark scores.
Like the Queen benchmark, the Photoworxx tests for penalties against pipeline architecture. The synthetic Photoworxx benchmark stresses the integer arithmetic and multiplication execution units of the CPU and also the memory subsystem. Due to the fact that this test performs high memory read/write traffic, it cannot effectively scale in situations where more than two processing threads are used. The EVEREST Photoworxx benchmark performs the following tasks on a very large RGB image:
The X3 720BE doesn't do nearly as well in Photoworxx testing, and strangely, the Phenom II running at 3.7GHz gave the highest score. I've seen some unusual scores for this test recently, and suspect it may not be a pure CPU test. The EVEREST documentation hints that this benchmark is highly dependent on memory write speed. The AES integer benchmark measures CPU performance using AES data encryption. It utilizes Vincent Rijmen, Antoon Bosselaers and Paulo Barreto's public domain C code in ECB mode and consumes 48 MB of memory. The Phenom II X3 720 smokes the Intel Core2 Duo E7300 again, with a 36% increase in performance.
Given the major differences in memory architecture between the Intel and AMD systems, it's a good idea to look at a pure memory benchmark. EVEREST Ultimate Edition offers three simple memory bandwidth tests that focus on the basics; Read, Write, and Copy. In order to avoid concurrent threads competing over system memory bandwidth, the Memory benchmarks utilize only one processor core and one thread.
The Read benchmark measures the maximum achievable memory read bandwidth. The code behind this benchmark method is written in Assembly and it is extremely optimized for every popular AMD and Intel processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate x86, MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2 or SSE4.1 instruction set extension. The benchmark reads a 16 MB sized, 1 MB aligned data buffer from system memory into the CPU. Memory is read in forward direction, continuously without breaks.
The Write benchmark measures the maximum achievable memory write bandwidth. The code behind this benchmark method is written in Assembly and it is extremely optimized for every popular AMD and Intel processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate x86, MMX, 3DNow!, SSE or SSE2 instruction set extension. The benchmark writes a 16 MB sized, 1 MB aligned data buffer from the CPU into the system memory. Memory is written in forward direction, continuously without breaks.
The Memory Copy benchmark measures the maximum achievable memory copy speed. The code behind this benchmark method is written in Assembly and it is extremely optimized for every popular AMD and Intel processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate x86, MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2 or SSE4.1 instruction set extension. The benchmark copies an 8 MB sized, 1 MB aligned data buffer into another 8 MB sized, 1 MB aligned data buffer through the CPU. Memory is copied in forward direction, continuously without breaks.
There is clearly a difference between the two systems, with the AMD-based system favoring memory reads and copies, while the Intel system does better on memory writes. It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison, though. The radically different ways that the two systems achieve their roughly one GHz overclock affects the memory performance. The Intel based system went from a 266 MHz FSB clock and 10X CPU multiplier to a 400MHz FSB clock and 9.5X CPU Multiplier. Since the memory communicates with the CPU through the Northbridge on the Intel system, the FSB clock definitely has an influence on memory performance. On the AMD side, I only raised the reference clock from 200MHz to 230MHz, and the CPU multiplier went from 14 to 16.5. In this case, the CPU connects directly to the RAM, so the multiplier and the reference clock both have an impact. Still, I think the point here is, nobody is going to complain about the AMD memory interface being too slow.