PCMark05 Professional is the latest update to the popular PCMark system benchmarking series from FutureMark, and it has been revamped to highlight current hardware and features additional multithreaded and multi-tasking performance tests. There is the usual selection of individual System, CPU, Memory, Graphics, and Hard Drive benchmark suites, and these continue to bridge the gap between synthetic and application-based benchmarks. For our purposes, the System, CPU and Memory areas will be where we concentrate our benchmarking efforts.
The PCMark05 System benchmark suite includes a wide range of tests, from Windows XP hard drive startup to video and audio encoding, and features a selection of standard desktop routines like text edit, virus scanning, and image decompression. Three of the benchmark scenarios are multithreaded, with the first two including two simultaneous tests, and the final one utilizing four program tests running simultaneously. Although this helps make PCMark05 System benchmark a great analysis tool for dual core processors, this feature will not be a factor with single core value models like the Celeron D and Sempron.
The Intel Celeron D 351 starts off the benchmarking section on the right foot, and easily takes the top spot in the PCMark05 System testing. Without conventional advantages like Hyper-Threading or dual core technology, these value processors must count on more a standard architecture, and here the Celeron D 351 proves to be an excellent desktop performer for its class.
Memory performance is going to be an interesting competition between the Intel and AMD value processors, given that these offer two totally different architectures. The Celeron D supports dual channel DDR or DDR2, and its 533 MHz bus speed ramps up performance compared to older 400 MHz parts. The 754-pin Sempron shares the integrated memory controller of its Athlon 64 big brother, but only for single-channel DDR400. The PCMark05 benchmarks do show the Celeron D 351 again taking the performance crown, proving that a dual channel memory setup - even with the Celeron D - can still outpace the AMD Sempron.
The CPU section of the PCMark05 suite doesn't change the status quo, as it again shows the Celeron D 351 well in the lead, and far outpacing even the Sempron 3400+. Again, without any multi-threading capabilities, these processors must fall back on pure CPU horsepower, and it appears that the 3.2 GHz Celeron D 351 is a just a bit faster at standard desktop processor tasks than the 2.0 GHz Sempron 3400+.