Although we see tons of benchmarks out there, the only one that CPU manufacturers really adhere to is the SPEC2000 or Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation 2000 benchmark. It is extremely processor-centric. Even with different configurations, the scores are still very stable.
What does it mean to you? It means you can count on SPEC2000 results. They generally give you a very accurate indication of the processor's capabilities as it focuses on the processor's performance, instead of the whole system.
This is another processor-centric benchmark. This program uses the processor to calculate pi or 22/7 to an accuracy of a few million digits (selectable in steps of 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 million). There is no “score” for this benchmark, but the time taken by a processor to finish that calculation is often used as a score. The shorter time a processor takes to complete the calculation run, the faster it is.
Do note that since pi isn't an integer, this program actually stresses the processor's FPU (floating point unit), rather than its integer processing capability. Therefore, this benchmark is useful in testing the processor's performance in programs that use floating point numbers, like 3D games, 3D rendering software, CAD software, sound processors and image enhancement software.
Encoding / Compression Benchmarks
Encoding benchmarks generally vary quite a bit from one to the other. These benchmarks generally work around the principle of using the time it takes for a processor to finish an encoding/compression task of a particular file as a metric. They are usually used to demonstrate the processor's Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) performance.
SIMD stands for single instruction, multiple data. SIMD instructions allow the processor to work on multiple pieces of data, instead of the traditional one piece of data per instruction. SIMD and SSE performance are important in multimedia applications like games, video encoding and decoding, file compression, etc.
I would be lying to you if I told you that this benchmark doesn't matter. On the Internet and within tech geek circles, the score you get from this benchmark is an indication of your pecking order within geek society. It has a CPU test which gives you a rather simplistic indication of the performance you're likely to get when you play a game.
Generally, the higher the 3DMark CPU score, the faster your processor is, at least where 3D games are concerned. Just make sure you only compare the CPU score, and not the total 3DMark score. The total 3DMark score is heavily based on the performance of the system's graphics card and won't give you an accurate indication of the processor's performance. So, compare its results wisely.
This is a benchmark based on the 3D rendering software called Cinema 4D. As it is designed to support up to 16 processors or processor cores, it is a great benchmark to test the processor's performance, especially multi-core processors.
Multi-core processors should give you many times more performance than a single-core processor. For example, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor theoretically should offer you four times more performance than an equivalent single-core processor running at the same clock speed. However, that's only in theory. This benchmark allows us to test the true performance of such multi-core processors.
If your system only gains a 10% increase in performance after upgrading from a single-core to a quad-core processor like the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor, then you know that something else is hindering the processor from achieving its true potential. Not only does this benchmark allow you to determine if a processor is worth buying, it also allows you to check if your processor is being bottlenecked.
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