|AMD Phenom-II X6-1100T CPU HDE00ZFBRBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 07 December 2010|
Page 6 of 14
SPECapc (Application Performance Characterization) tests are fundamentally different from the SPECviewperf tests. While SPECviewperf tests incorporate code from the various test programs directly into the benchmark, the SPECapc tests are separate scripts and datasets that are run against a stand-alone installation of the program being benchmarked. SPECapc group members sponsor applications and work with end-users, user groups, publications and ISVs to select and refine workloads, which consist of data sets and benchmark script files. Workloads are determined by end-users and ISVs, not SPECapc group members. These workloads will evolve over time in conjunction with end-users' needs and the increasing functionality of PCs and workstations.
For this test, I ran the SPECapc "Lightwave" benchmark against a trial installation of Newtek's Lightwave 3D product. The benchmark, developed in cooperation with NewTek, provides realistic workloads that simulate a typical LightWave 3D workflow. It contains 11 datasets— ranging from 64,000 to 1.75 million polygons— representing such applications as 3D character animation, architectural review, and industrial design. Scores for individual workloads are composited under three categories: interactive, render and multitask.
The benchmark puts special emphasis on processes that benefit from multi-threaded computing, such as animation, OpenGL playback, deformations, and high-end rendering that includes ray tracing, radiosity, complex textures and volumetric lighting. The test reports three scores: Animation (multitasking), Animation (interactive), and Rendering. The numeric scores represent the time it took to complete each section of the benchmark, in seconds, so lower scores are better.
Although this test stresses system components other than the processor (the video card's OpenGL implementation, for example), it still shows obvious performance differences in the CPUs. In the Animation (Multitasking) section, we see a very nice performance scaling with frequency and number of cores in both the Intel and AMD camps, although Intel does better overall, with the Core i7-930 beating every AMD processor except the overclocked Phenom-II X6-1100T. That said, note that the very expensive Intel 980x turns in a score only 13% better than the overclocked 1100T.
In the Animation (Interactive) test, the results are much more even, with the best score weirdly turned in by the cheapest, slowest CPU, the Core i5-750, and the worst score by the Core i7-930.
In the Rendering test, we're back to nice performance scaling again, with the relative processor rankings almost exactly what they were in the Animation (Multitasking) benchmark.
The results of this test are somewhat different than the results returned by the Lightwave code built into SPECviewperf. Although the overall trend is similar (with Intel tending to lead), a few processors switch relative performance positions.