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Always wanting to know more

I’m an engineer (computer science) by training, and as a consequence I’m always after more data.  More data means better understanding, which leads to better decision making.  We acquired a lot of data in the course of finishing our white paper on the characteristics of HDXPRT 2011.  Now, of course, I want even more.

The biggest area that I want to understand better is the graphics subsystem.  Our testing showed processor-integrated graphics out-performing discrete graphics cards.  That was not what I expected.  There seem to be two likely explanations.  The first is that since the workload of HDXPRT 2011 does not include 3D, discrete graphics cards are not that helpful to the benchmark’s applications.  Certainly, 3D performance plays more to the traditional strengths of discrete graphics cards.  The second likely explanation is that the integrated graphics on the second-generation Intel Core processors we used perform well.  A number of performance Web sites have noted the same thing since the debut of those processors.

The answer is probably a combination of the two.

To satisfy my data desires, we’re going to look further. We’ll start by testing on some older processors as well as some different graphics cards.  We’ll share our findings with you.

Please let us know any other characteristics of HDXPRT 2011 that you’d like us to explore in more depth.  I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to look at everything, but I know I always want to know more!


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