Intel's 900-Series Chipsets: PCI-Express and LGA775
Posted on: 08/13/2004 05:00 AM

Sisoft Sandra 2004.10.9.133

Sisoft Sandra has been a staple of hardware reviews since it was released about a million years ago (I might be off by a million or so years so don't hold me to that). It's a reliable tool for getting an idea of how a given platform should perform. I always like to have those numbers when I move onto real-world benchmarks.

Here's how these systems stack up in terms of raw CPU powah:

A few items of interest here - first is that all our top-end CPUs leave that poor old 2.4 GHz P4 (no hyperthreading!) in the dust. Another is just how close the 3.4 GHz Extreme Edition P4 and 3.6 GHz Prescott P4 are to each other. When you're talking about integer performance, they hold more of a lead over the 3.2 GHz Northwood than can be accounted for by raw clock speed advantages. I'd say that Prescott's 1 mb L2 cache, and the EE's 2 mb L3 cache play a role in that, given the know sensitivty of integer code to cache.

Now for Sandra's CPU multimedia benchmark:

Again we see that old 2.4 GHz P4B getting pummeled. Can you hear it begging for mercy in a little high-pitched voice? Oh. Maybe it's just me. ahem.

Also note the sizable margin by which the EE outpaces the Prescott. That big L3 cache is showing it's value again.

How about some memory bandwidth numbers? I'm sure we're all interested to see whether or not DDR delivers any advantages at this point in the game:

When I first compiled these numbers, I was taken aback by the poor performance of the 915 chipset. That was until I remembered that I was using the integrated video. I wasn't expecting it to hurt the synthetic numbers all that much just sitting there at the desktop. Imagine what it does to system performance if you're running some kind of memory-bandwidth-hungry graphical application? ick.

As we're getting acustomed to seeing, that old 2.4 GHz P4 is getting beat up on.

The 925X, with DDR2 and its fancy-pants enhanced memory performance mode only manages to pull ahead of the 3.2 GHz Northwood system with DDR by a few hundred mb/sec. That's certainly no reason for an upgrade...

Let's take a quick peek at RC5-72 and media encoding performance...

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