With any system you will want to see a combination of synthetic and real-world testing. Synthetics give you a static, easily repeatable testing method that can be compared across multiple platforms. For our synthetic tests we use Everest Ultimate, Sisoft Sandra, Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage, Cinebench as well as HyperPi. Each of these covers a different aspect of performance or a different angle of a certain type of performance.
Memory is a big part of current system performance. In most systems, slow or flakey memory performance will impact almost every type of application you run. To test memory we use a combination of Sisoft Sandra, Everest and HyperPi 0.99.
As you might have expected the memory bandwidth on the Z8NA-D6C is quite good. This is a must to keep all 16 threads loaded up with data.
Everest Ultimate is a suite of tests and utilities that can be used for system diagnostics and testing. For our purposes here we use their memory bandwidth test and see what the theoretical performance is.
Everest gives us some more information here; we see that the caching on the Xeons is much faster than your average Core i7.
HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster the components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.
For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.
On the surface it looks like the Z8NA-D6C is slow (and it is in comparison). What we have to keep in mind is that there are 16 instances of HyperPi running; each trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million places. This is going to back up the memory on the system as well as the CPUs. Since we have 12GB of RAM that ends up breaking down to 1.5GB of RAM per CPU core or .75 GB per thread, this could bring down a few other scores as the memory has a hard time getting information to the CPUs.
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