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  • The Business Winstone 2001 suite from ZD Labs is an application-based PC benchmark that uses business programs like MS Office 2000, FrontPage 2000, Lotus Notes, and Netscape to test a system's performance. New in the 2001 version are specific tests for file compression, anti-virus scanning and email. This suite of programs are run from a batch script that attempts to accurately emulate a business system load, then supplies a final performance rating.

    In Business Winstone 2001 testing, the Athlon 1.4 GHz continued its dominance over the Pentium 4 competition. Although there have been some potential issues with earlier versions of Win 2000, our testing under SP2 showed a slightly closer race, but still with the Athlon 1.4 GHz coming out on top. These results are not that surprising, given the fact that basic business applications are unlikely to be on the short-list of SSE2-enhanced applications and won't really offer the Pentium 4 a chance to shine.

    Content Creation Winstone 2001 is yet another benchmark from ZD Labs, and one that is very similar to Business Winstone. While the Business Winstone tests business application performance, Content Creation Winstone makes use of more robust multimedia applications such as Adobe Photoshop & Premiere, Macromedia Director & Dreamweaver, and Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge in its suite of applications. These programs are also run somewhat concurrently, such as applications staying active and resident while waiting for another test to finish. This makes Content Creation Winstone 2001 one of the best business and multimedia stress tests available, and is a good indicator of overall system performance.

    Once again, the Pentium 4-1.8 GHz has to take a back seat to the AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz in Content Creation 2001 testing, under both Win 98SE and Win 2000. This surprised us somewhat, since these same multimedia and Internet applications have been heavily promoted as an area where the Pentium 4 would excel. It should also be noted that none of the reference applications included with Content Creation 2001 have been specifically coded for SSE2.

    BAPCO's SysMark 2001 is truly a monster of a system benchmark, and is about as close to a "Crusher" equivalent as we'll find in the business world. As such, it's easy to give a bit more credence to these scores, since SysMark 2001 makes heavy use of multimedia and Internet development applications (many the same as in Content Creation 2001) and the benchmark itself is the newest of the bunch. It also nicely separates the Internet and Business Elements into two different scores, along with a final tally.

    As you can see from the results, the Pentium 4-1.8 GHz and Athlon 1.4 GHz are literally in a dead heat where the Business scores are concerned, with the Athlon squeaking out a narrow win. When we turn our attention to the Internet scores, things change drastically and the Pentium 4-1.8 GHz scores a convincing win, which also easily takes it to the overall SysMark 2001 title.

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