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NitroWare.net - Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 OC Graphics Card and CPU scaling Review
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Overall System Performance Benchmarks

Red System – AMD A6-3650 APU and Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Motherboard
Green System – AMD FX-6100 CPU and Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard
Blue System – Intel Core i7-3960X CPU and Intel DX79SI Motherboard

Futuremark’s PCMark tests are engineered to represent typical use-case scenarios such as media encoding, graphics, gaming and web browsing.

PCMark vantage is able to make the best use of Bulldozer’s design proving very competitive to Intel.  The GPU proves more limiting in PCMark 7

PerformanceTest 7 and Geekbench, a cross platform Windows and Mac  synthetic CPU benchmark shows how much the 12 thread Intel i7 can run away in some scenarios, 2X.  Remember it is more expensive.  However, the AMD FX-6100 is able to show 1.5X over the quad core AMD A6.

Larger memory cache plus L3 cache on the AMD FX platform elevates the memory performance on AMD FX however the processor score barely budges.  Windows Experience Index is a true benchmark it is not a guesstimate score, the benchmark runs in the background.  To see the actual CPU benchmark, the test can be run from the command line.

Although we really want to focus on graphics performance scaling in this review, we have included some CPU only benchmarks so we can get an indication or baseline if you will of the platform performance independant of the graphics solution.

These tests represent real-world use cases, software installation are tasks users perform everyday and are depenandant on multiple factors, Multi or Single threaded performance, Memory bandwidth (especially when data is cached), disk system.

The AMD A6 and FX are too closely matched in Acrobat and iTunes installation, so close that a typical user may not notice the difference between the platforms. It is worth noting these programs use third party installation routines.

Things change when we look at Live Essentials which uses a propertiary Microsoft installation system which unpacks individual installation packages to disk and the software itself comprises of several applications. Multi-threading benefits installation of Live with a large jump from the quad core AMD A6 to both the hex core AMD FX and Intel i7 systems. Intel's hyper threading and massive memory bandwidth using quad channels versus dual for AMD does not as much as cores, 18 seconds between both AMD systems versus 6 seconds between AMD FX and Intel i7.

Price for performance the Intel CPU platform which costs three times as much as the AMD can only deliver a 2X performance boost at best if not a small improvement.

SuperPI is a synthetic benchmark tool used to determine system single threaded performance and system stabilty by calculating Pi to a set number of decimal places. AMD Bulldozer exchanges single threaded performance for multi threaded performance which is the architectures main downside. This is well reported and there is not much more we can say on the matter with Intel being 2.5X as fast in this math calculation task. At three times the price the Intel i7 does deliver a value proposition.

Archiving programs scale well with additional thread counts as shown in our archiving tests. Both 7-Zip and WinRAR include benchmark tests that calculate the archiving throughput possible on a system excluding the disk.  We can see healthy gains in throughput performance when we set up the core count between AMD CPUx, 1.5X increase for two extra cores. With six dedicated cores plus hyperthreading and quad channel memory Intel is able to almost double the throughput of the six core AMD FX system.

Things are tighter with the Fritz Chess Benchmark where we see AMD Bulldozer gain 1.25X only over AMD Llano, higher clockspeeds on Llano should be able to close this gap.
Fritz Chess Benchmark is an AI simulation of Chess Software, as with archiving Intel's threading and memory setup nets 2X increase.

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