Since we're now in a multi-core world, an evaluation of multi-threaded processor performance is certainly warranted, but without the limitations of single-threaded applications or component-specific benchmarks. In this section we offer up three different multi-threaded benchmarks: CINEBENCH 9.5, CINEBENCH 10 and WinRAR.
CINEBENCH 9.5 & 10 Performance
CINEBENCH is a performance suite, which utilizes CINEMA 4D for both CPU and video-based testing. We use the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, which processes a large, detailed image file on-screen, and displays the test results. Both CINEBENCH 9.5 and 10 dynamically shift image processing on the fly. If one core is finished its job, the program automatically segments the remainder of the image, thereby speeding up processing times considerably. The main difference between the two is the image workload, with CINEBENCH 9.5 offering a more mainstream test, while CINEBENCH 10 gives the CPU a much tougher workout.
Our CINEBENCH 9.5 benchmark results may not be as earth-shattering as the memory bandwidth tests, but the three Core i7 processors still put in a very good showing. The 3.2 GHz Core i7-965 XE is by far the top performer, but it's interesting to note that in pure multi-threading performance, even the 2.66 GHz Core i7-920 can outpace the 3.2 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9770.
CINEBENCH 10 benchmarking is even more demanding, and although we do see additional separation between the high-end and mainstream processors, the Core i7 models are still nicely out in front, taking up the top three positions.
WinRAR 3.80 Performance
WinRAR is one of the most popular compression programs, and it even includes an internal benchmark program that measures the performance of the RAR compression and decompression algorithm using a demanding worst-case data set. This multi-threaded test offers a data throughput rating, and while it does not relate specifically to cache or memory transfers, we have found that the overall throughput numbers do adhere closely to the overall architecture. A faster clock speed certainly helps, but the score also ties in closely with memory, cache and CPU performance.
WinRAR is another benchmark that is adept at showing the combined performance impact of the processor, CPU and platform. The chart clearly shows the Core i7 to be the fastest, and we've never seen anything close to these scores in past CPU benchmarking. Like the memory bandwidth scores, this is an entirely new level of compression performance.