Intel Quad-core: Clovertown Performance Reviewed
Posted on: 11/11/2006 06:00 AM

SiSoft SANDRA 2007 SP1
SiSoftware, founded in 1995, is one of the leading providers of computer analysis, diagnostic and benchmarking software. The flagship product, known as "SANDRA", was launched in 1997 and has become one of the most widely used products in its field. SANDRA is used by almost 500 world-wide IT publications, magazines, review sites to analyse the performance of todayís computers. Over 5,000 on-line reviews of computer hardware that use SANDRA are cataloged on the companyís website alone.
SiSoft's SANDRA is a good way to paint a picture of overall system performance. It is important to note that because SANDRA is a suite of synthetic tests, the numbers don't always correlate directly to "real world" performance in "real world" applications. That being said, it is a good stress test, and it does allow us some insight into peak theoretical performance.

In theory, Intel's new Clovertown is packing a combined total of 18.64ghz of Core microarchitecture based processing power, and it really shows in SANDRA's CPU and multimedia tests. The other results don't differ much from what we've already seen, so we'll move along to the memory tests.

Here are some interesting results. Clovertown's peak memory bandwidth is significantly lower than that of Woodcrest at the same bus speed, and with an otherwise identical system configuration. After running and rerunning these numbers with identical results, I can only assume that the additional bus traffic on the Clovertown config (eight cores fighting for memory access) is to blame for the lower memory bandwidth. It will be interesting to see how this all translates into actual application performance.

As always, Opteron and its on-die memory controller rules the memory bandwidth roost, especially when combined with a NUMA-aware operating system.

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