Testing & Results
I assembled two different systems for this comparison. Since overclocking and discrete graphics performance aren’t part of this review, I’ve omitted the case and PSU components (for those curious, the Intel system used a BitFenix Prodigy / Cooler Master V700, while the AMD system lived in a SilverStone ML05 and used a SilverStone 300W SFX PSU – throttling due to temperatures wasn’t an issue in either case, and stock coolers were used all-around). The AMD processors were all swapped into the same shared platform, in an attempt to keep as many components the same as possible. While both Intel/AMD integrated graphics benefit from faster RAM, I hope no one feels the different kits between the two systems would affect the end result. Both systems use a similar capacity SSD with no mechanical storage, so they should be on similar turf for any benchmark in which storage speeds have an effect.
|CPU||“i5-4430” (i5-4670K clocked to 3.2GHz, 1.1GHz iGPU)||A10-7850K||A10-7800||A10-5800K|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z87N-Wifi Rev 1.0||Gigabyte A88XN-Wifi|
|Graphics||HD4600, 1.1GHz||R7, 512 GCN / 8 GPU Compute Cores, 720MHz||R7, 512 GCN / 8 GPU Compute Cores, 720MHz||7660D w/384 Radeon Cores, 800MHz|
|Memory / RAM||2x4GB Kingston HyperX Fury 1866 MHz 10-11-10-30||2x4GB GSkill Ares 2133MHz 11-11-11-30|
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD (RAPID not used)||Intel 335 Series 240GB SSD|
|OS||Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit||Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit|
Right then – on to the benchmarks. First up, a suite of CPU compute tasks using AIDA64. For those unfamiliar with the Queen/Photoworxx/AES etc. tests, here’s a quick summary of each test from the AIDA64 help files:
Queen – This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard. CPU Queen test uses integer MMX, SSE2 and SSSE3 optimizations. It consumes less than 1 MB system memory and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
Photoworxx – This integer benchmark performs different common tasks used during digital photo processing. It performs the following tasks on a large RGB image: Fill the image with random coloured pixels; Rotate 90 degrees CCW; Rotate 180 degrees (a.k.a. Flip); Difference; Color space conversion (a.k.a. RGB32 to YV12 conversion, used e.g. during JPEG conversion).
This benchmark stresses the SIMD integer arithmetic execution units of the CPU and also the memory subsystem. CPU PhotoWorxx test uses the appropriate x87, MMX, MMX+, 3DNow!, 3DNow!+, SSE, SSE2, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4A, AVX, AVX2, and XOP instruction set extension, and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware. Since AIDA64 v3.00, the PhotoWorxx benchmark implements AVX2 optimizations, and supports AMD Kabini and Intel Haswell processors.
Zlib – This integer benchmark measures combined CPU and memory subsystem performance through the public ZLib compression library Version 1.2.5 (). CPU ZLib test uses only the basic x86 instructions, and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
AES – This integer benchmark measures CPU performance using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) data encryption. In cryptography AES is a symmetric-key encryption standard. AES is used in several compression tools today, like 7z, RAR, WinZip, and also in disk encryption solutions like BitLocker, FileVault (Mac OS X), TrueCrypt. CPU AES test uses the appropriate x86, MMX and SSE4.1 instructions, and it’s hardware accelerated on VIA PadLock Security Engine capable VIA C3, VIA C7, VIA Nano, and VIA QuadCore processors; and on Intel AES-NI instruction set extension capable processors. The test is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware. Since AIDA64 v3.00, the AES benchmark supports AMD Kabini and Intel Haswell processors. Hash – This integer benchmark measures CPU performance using the SHA1 hashing algorithm defined in the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 180-4 (). The code behind this benchmark method is written in Assembly, and it is optimized for every popular AMD, Intel and VIA processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate MMX, MMX+/SSE, SSE2, SSSE3, AVX, AVX2, XOP, BMI, and BMI2 instruction set extension. This benchmark is hardware accelerated on VIA PadLock Security Engine capable VIA C7, VIA Nano and VIA QuadCore processors.
FPU VP8 – This benchmark measures video compression performance using the Google VP8 (WebM) video codec Version 1.1.0 (http://www.webmproject.org). FPU VP8 test encodes 1280×720 pixel (“HD ready”) resolution video frames in 1-pass mode at 8192 kbps bitrate with best quality settings. The content of the frames are generated by the FPU Julia fractal module. The code behind this benchmark method utilizes the appropriate MMX, SSE2, SSSE3 or SSE4.1 instruction set extension, and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
Each test reflects each CPU pretty accurately – there aren’t any outliers or surprises here. The most interesting result of this comparison is how close the 65W A10-7800 is to the A10-7850K. We can certainly see the advantage of clock speed as well, especially with the Queen scores (the Trinity-based A10-5800K has a pretty strong showing here, no doubt due to its higher frequency). Really, these synthetic CPU compute tests don’t show us anything we don’t already know – Intel still enjoys a sizeable performance advantage in traditional x86 applications.