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Re: CPU question

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Fredd Wright wrote:
> I have what i hope is a simple question. I am looking to upgrade my
> computer and am confused about the processor speeds. It used to be that GHZ
> was all you needed to look at but i understand that's not the case anymore.
> Can anyone tell me how these two chips compare and which is faster?
> 2.80GHz Pentium D, dual core, 1MB secondary memory cache, not hyper-threaded
> 2.20GHz AMD Vision A6 APU, quad core, 4MB on die level 2.
> Thanks.
> Fredd

There are two aspects to processor usage.

"1. If a computer program only uses one core, which is the fastest
processor when a single core is in use ?"

"2. If a computer program uses all the cores at the same time,
which processor can do a greater total amount of work ?"

The second one can be answered with benchmarks. Without looking at
the benchmark, my guess is the second processor is more than 2x
greater than the first. For example, if I use Photoshop,
Photoshop falls into class #2, so if I'm editing an image,
I finish in less than half the time.


I'm guessing your second processor, is one from this page. In the tables
they offer, they have comparison pages, so I can pick out the model number
that corresponds to 2.2GHz A6. Looks like A6-3620 matches.


I'll try and pick out the Passmark benchmark, which is a class #2 benchmark.

Name bench rank
Intel Pentium D 2.80GHz 741 848 NA NA
AMD A6-3620 APU 3783 185 NA NA

So while I guessed 2x as good at Photoshop, it's actually 5.1x. This
is partially due to the Bulldozer core on the A6, which has something
similar to hyperthreading. It can be like having 8 cores, but
is dependent on the OS to schedule them. It should do no worse,
than behaving like 4 cores.

In the case of a program having a single thread of execution, the A6
is still going to win. You take 2.2 and multiply it by at least 1.5
and get equivalent speed of 3.3GHz. Plus, the A6 has turbo, so
it's actually turbo of 2.5 * 1.5 = at least 3.75GHz equivalent to
the Pentium D 2.8GHz.

The A6 is anywhere from 1.33x to 5.1x faster than the Pentium D
(1.33 being for class #1, 5.1 being for class #2). Only programs
like Photoshop or the rendering phase of a video editor program (NLE),
will scream on the A6, as class #2 programs. Microsoft Word, is
going to be more like class #1. Modern versions of Microsoft
Excel, have been promoted from class #1, to a half-assed class #2,
so if you have the latest Excel, a spreadsheet recalc should
"partially scream". If you have some forms of custom macros,
Excel may be stuck as class #1.

I could go over to and get benchmarks over there, but
since most of the processors over there are overclocked, it's
pretty hard to get benches with stock clock speed. Too bad really,
because otherwise that site is a great resource. It's just a
bear to search, and in some cases, I know going in, I won't
be finding any benches for stock speed. So Passmark and a bit
of "wet finger" arithmetic is all I can offer. The A6 wins.

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