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Category: HDXPRT 2011 results whitepaper

Looking deeper into results

A few weeks ago, I mentioned some questions we had about graphics performance using HDXPRT 2011 after releasing our results white paper. The issue was that HDXPRT 2011 gave results I had not expected—the integrated graphics outperformed discrete graphics cards. I suspected that this was both because HDXPRT 2011’s lack of 3D work lessens the advantage of discrete graphics cards and because the integrated graphics on the second-generation Intel Core processors we used performed well.

We ran some tests with discrete graphics cards on an older processor (an Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q6600) and report our findings in a second results white paper. My suspicions were correct: On the older processor, the discrete graphics cards performed 21 to 36 percent better than the integrated graphics.

As an aside, we are looking into putting our test results on the Web site in some easy-to-access fashion so you can look at them in more detail. My hope is that doing so will facilitate sharing of results among all of us in the HDXPRT Development Community.

Based on this second results white paper, I would love to hear your responses to two questions. First, do you think that future versions of HDXPRT should include 3D graphics? Second, what other areas of HDXPRT 2011 would you like to see us look into?

Bill

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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!

Bill

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Sneak peak at the HDXPRT 2011 results white paper

After spending weeks testing different configurations with HDXPRT 2011, we are putting the final touches on a white paper detailing the results. I thought I’d give you a sneak peak at some of the things the tests revealed about the characteristics of HDXPRT 2011.

As I explained last week, trying to understand the characteristics of a benchmark requires careful testing while changing one component at a time. To do that, we ran the tests on a single system using an Intel DH67BL motherboard. We changed processors (both type and speed), the amount of RAM, the type of storage (hard disk and SSD), and the graphics subsystem, as well as a few other variables.

Here are a few of the things we found:

  • Processor speed – On an Intel Core i3, increasing the processor speed (GHz) 6.5% resulted in a 4.4% increase in the HDXPRT overall score. On an Intel Core i5, increasing the processor speed (GHz) 17.9% resulted in an 8.1% increase in the HDXPRT overall score. Generally, that means that increased processor speed is important, but the performance scales somewhat less than the raw gigahertz.
  • Memory – Increasing from 2 GB to 4 GB increased the overall score 10.7% on an Intel Core i5 and 15.8% on an Intel Core i7. However, increasing from 4 GB to 8 GB increased the score less than 2% on both processors. These results map pretty well with my personal experience: going to 4 GB is important for media-rich applications, but going to 8 GB is less so.
  • Disk drive – Switching from a hard disk to an SSD increased the overall score about 1%. While I would certainly prefer an SSD to a hard disk, this shows that, for HDXPRT 2011, disk performance has only a small influence on the results.

Many more details will be in the white paper we will publish in the next few days. Please be on the lookout for it and let us know what you think of the results and what they say about the characteristics of HDXPRT 2011.

We plan to conduct a Webinar in the near future to discuss the HDXPRT 2011 results white paper and to answer general questions. I hope to see you there!

Bill

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