SiSoft SANDRA 2007 is the latest revision of this popular system benchmark, but it sticks to its roots and supplies a wide range of individual benchmarks and system utilities. These include processor, system, network, hard drive benchmarks and many other performance tests. The memory bandwidth test is the most popular section of the SiSoft SANDRA benchmark suite, and it highlights the potential performance levels of the CPU-memory subsystem. As the Integer and FPU scores are quite similar, we are only including the first one in our benchmark suite.
SiSoft SANDRA 2007 is a very recent update, and we really wanted to give a run-through with these high-end processors. Needless to say, the results are firmly in the AM2/DDR2 camp, with the new AMD processors posting some extraordinary benchmark scores. The Athlon 64 FX-62 manages to hit over 8,000, while the DDR2-based processors really scale to the higher clock speeds, as opposed to the very stable results through the AMD DDR-based models. On the DDR2/AM2 side, there is also a correlation between L2 cache levels and overall memory performance, with the larger 2-MB L2 processors posting higher relative scores.
We have incorporated the ScienceMark 2 memory benchmark to our suite, and more specifically the MemBench portion of the program. This high-end test utilizes a series of memory bandwidth algorithms, and then offers a measure of the overall memory bandwidth of a given CPU/memory/platform combination. In many ways, it is similar to SiSoft SANDRA in terms of output and format, but depending on the platform and CPU, the actual tests can offer a slightly different result.
The ScienceMark 2 benchmark scores are a bit closer together, but we can still see the line between DDR2-800 and DDR-400, with the former posting noticeably higher scores. The 1066 MHz Pentium EE 955 also sports dual channel DDR2-800, but cannot match the memory performance levels of the new Socket AM2 processors.
CINEBENCH 95 is the latest update to this performance suite, which utilizes CINEMA 4D for both CPU and video-based testing. We're concentrating on the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, processes a large, detailed image file on-screen, times the overall performance, and displays the results. CINEBENCH 2003 was multi-threaded as well, but it simply split the task into equal portions (per logical or physical cores) and let it run. CINEBENCH 9.5 upgrades this considerably, and dynamically shifts processing on the fly. So if one core is finished its job, the program automatically segments the remainder, thereby speeding up processing times considerably. Another factor of this change is that it rewards physical cores, while lowering performance on Hyper-Threaded systems.
The latest CINEBENCH 9.5 benchmark scores outline exactly how the program has changed, as all of the dual core processors have increased in performance in relation to the older version. We see the Athlon 64 FX-62 well out in front, and when looking at equivalent processors, overall core speed (and not L2 cache) seems to be the determining factor. We also see the Pentium EE 955 falling back in the pack, a far cry from its CINEBENCH 2003 heyday, where it ran tight with the Athlon 64 FX-60.