|Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 02 January 2011|
Page 9 of 15
PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
The PassMark PerformanceTest allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers. PassMark comprises a complete suite of tests for your computer, including CPU tests, 2D and 3D graphics tests, disk tests, memory tests, and even tests to determine the speed of your system's optical drive. PassMark tests support Hyper-Threading and systems with multiple CPUs, and allow you to save benchmark results to disk (or to export them to HTML, text, GIF, and BMP formats).
Knowledgeable users can use the Advanced Testing section to alter the parameters for the disk, network, graphics, multitasking, and memory tests, and created individual, customized testing suites. But for this review I used only the built-in CPU tests, which aren't configurable. PassMark computes a "CPU Marks" score based on the scores of the individual tests:
The Cougar Point/Sandy Bridge systems show a dramatic advantage over the older 890FX/X58 systems, with scores at least 40% higher. But this score is a composite of the scores returned by the other, individual tests...let's take a look at them.
Integer and floating point operations are the basic things modern CPUs do. Integer operations are everything except floating point; technically, even instructions like comparisons, branches, and bit rotates are integer instructions. Floating point instructions deal specifically with floating point math operations. For example, an integer division of 2 into 7 will return "3" as the result, whereas a floating point division of 2 into 7 will return "3.5" as the result. While most program code is comprised of integer instructions, floating point instructions are important in modeling and rendering applications
Intel CPUs utterly dominate in the integer tests, with even the mid-range Core i7-950 beating the high-end AMD 1100T by more than 140%. On the floating point side of things, though, the order reverses, with the AMD processor beating even the overclocked Core i7-2600K. The excellent floating point results of the AMD CPUs help explain how AMD processors keep up in the rendering benchmarks.
The Compress and String Sort benchmarks are both integer-based, and thus the Intel CPUs dominate here. Overclocking the 2600K provides more of a boost with compression than sorting, apparently.
The AMD 1100T wins (barely) against stock-clocked Intel CPUs in the Encryption test, beating the 950 and matching the 2600K. This benchmark also responds particularly well to the overclocked 2600K, with almost 40% better performance at the highest level.
Intel jumps back into the lead in the Physics test, though, with the 1100T falling behind every Intel processor.
The Primes test shows all the processors clustering together at their stock clock speeds, with the 2600K showing about an 8% advantage, but this is another test where overclocking the 2600K yields dramatic results, with more than a 30% improvement in the scores. The P67 systems surge ahead in the matrix multiplication tests, though, with the stock-clocked Sandy Bridge CPUs more than twice as fast as the 950, and more than three times as fast when overclocked.