|AMD Phenom-II X6-1100T CPU HDE00ZFBRBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 07 December 2010|
Page 7 of 14
PCMark Vantage Tests
PCMark Vantage is an objective hardware performance benchmark tool for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7. It's well suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista/7 PC: from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Benchmark Reviews has decided to use a few select tests from the suite to simulate real-world processor usage in this article. Our tests were conducted on 64-bit Windows 7, with results displayed in the chart below.
TV and Movies Suite
* EDITOR'S NOTE: Hopefully our readers will carefully consider how relevant PCMark Vantage is as a "real-world" benchmark, since many of the tests rely on unrelated hardware components. For example, per the FutureMark PCMark Vantage White Paper document, Gaming test #2 weighs the storage device for 100% of the test score. In fact, according to PCMark Vantage the video card only impacts 23% of the total gaming score, but the CPU represents 37% of the final score. As our tests in this article (and many others) have already proven, gaming performance has a lot more to do with the GPU than the CPU, and especially more than the hard drive or SSD (which is worth 38% of the final gaming performance score).
The TV and Movies suite concentrates on video playback and transcoding, but only uses two threads at a maximum, so hexacore processors have little advantage over quad-cores. The results scale pretty much with clock speed, and tend to favor Intel slightly. It's interesting that the 3.33GHz Core i7-980X processor beats out the 4.1GHz AMD 1100T since the other results scale closer to the clock speed differences within each camp.
The Gaming benchmark relies on the hard disk and video card for over 50% of its score (see the Editor's Note above), and we're using the same HDD and video card for all platforms, so the Intel processor's decisive win in this test simply means that Vantage's gaming code is more optimized for Intel processors. Bear in mind, however, that most "real world" games will not show this difference; generally, in games, your video card matters most, followed by the clock speed (not number of cores) of your processor. The PCMark Vantage gaming test can use up to 16 threads, but very few commercial games will take full advantage of multicore processors.
In the Music test, we see that more cores is definitely better, and unlike the Gaming test, these results have more real-world relevance, since multi-threading is much more common in music transcoding applications than it is in games. The Intel processors dominated this test, which is something I haven't seen in previous tests (albeit with somewhat different hardware). And I'm still having trouble coming up with an explanation for the 965 Black Edition's dominance of the AMD results, which is also something I haven't seen before...but I ran each test three times, and these are the results.
Futuremark's weighing of the various system components in each test is the subject of some debate; and some of their choices (such as the Gaming test's use of a 1024x768 resolution with no anti-aliasing or texture filtering being "representative" of the "consumer experience") seem odd to me, but the TV and Movies and Music benchmarks are arguably reasonable predictors of overall system performance.