|ASRock AOD790GX/128M AM2+ Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 10 March 2009|
Page 10 of 16
Using synthetic benchmarks to compare one product to another has some distinct advantages when testing similar hardware, yet I have never found myself completely satisfied by the process. I have come to understand that they're important for comparing "apples to apples", and that the results are usually very consistent. But as with any synthetic benchmark, the numbers can often mean very little more than just numbers. We don't take a high score on a synthetic benchmark to mean that a product will/should perform well, and neither should you. The difference between projected performance and actual performance is the difference between fire and the fire-fly.
PCMark is a series of computer benchmark tools developed by Futuremark. The tools are designed to test the performance of the user's CPU, read/write speeds of RAM and hard drives. We have used these tests to simulate a battery of applications and tasks, which will produce results we can compare to other systems using similar hardware.
After a series of five looped tests, the averages of the results are charted below. Keep in mind that the AOD790GX/128M as well as the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P shared the same GPU and SSD (specified in the Test Methodology section). The idea here was to isolate the motherboard and CPU components to determine if one product and platform performed better than the other. I am also reporting different CPU clock settings for the AOD790GX/128M and Phenom II 720BE to show performance scaling with a typical overclock situation.
The PCMark05 System Suite benchmark results start to show some differences across the test systems. This test shows the influence of the CPU and the memory architecture on system performance. The chipsets and CPU are different, the memory, SSD and video card are the same. In the article on the GA-EP45-UD3P we saw that there's very little difference in performance between motherboards when the same hardware is used with the same settings. Obviously, we're seeing something completely different here. The X3 takes full advantage of its "extra" core to beat up on the Intel Core2 Duo, once it is overclocked to similar CPU speeds. Core-for-core and clock-for-clock, the C2D may be a more efficient computing machine, but $-for-$, the Phenom II X3 wins out.
PCMark05 offers a CPU benchmark suite, with several processor intensive tests combined, to focus on raw CPU processing power. The CPU benchmark suite includes the following tests:
• File Compression
Using the combined test performance to create an artificial score, PCMark05 generates a score called CPU Marks. Taking away most of the outside influence from our testing, and concentrating on CPU-only benchmarks, the song remains the same. It's tough for the dual core CPU to compete with the gang of three; at equal clock rates, the Phenom II X3 beats the Core2 Duo by 36%.
Of the many tests inside the CPU suite, lets look at one of the benchmarks with the largest performance difference. The Audio Compression benchmark test measures performance with synthetic encoding, and the Phenom II X3 pulls ahead by 1158 KBps, once again, a 36% lead. If you're encoding a lot of MP3s, this is a nice, useable performance increase.