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. This helps make PCMark05 System benchmark a great analysis tool for our dual core processors.
The Core 2 architecture has taken Intel right to the top of the PCMark05 performance chart, and the System scores have these taking the top three places. The Core 2 Extreme X6800 naturally holds down the top spot, followed by the Core 2 Duo E6700 and E6600. The gap between the Core 2 Duo processors the Athlon 64-based competition is certainly impressive, but next to the Pentium D, it's even more amazing.
Due to the Athlon 64's integrated memory controller and the AM2 transition to high-speed DDR2, we expected the Core 2 Extreme and Duo processors to take a back seat in the PCMark05 Memory test, but Intel gives us a bit of a surprise. Both the Core 2 Extreme X6800 and Core 2 Duo E6700 manage to outdistance the Athlon 64 FX-62, while the Core 2 Duo E6600 is not far behind.
The CPU section of the PCMark05 Pro benchmark suite gives us our first glimpse at the pure horsepower of the new Core 2 Extreme and Duo processors. Both the Pentium EE 955 and Athlon 64 FX-62 are not only left in the virtual dust by the powerful Core 2 Extreme X6800, but are even outpaced by the Core 2 Duo E6600.