With any system you will want to see a combination of synthetic testing and real-world. 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.
Ouch, the 1090T did not give a very good showing for memory performance. We were hoping for bandwidth numbers a little closer to Intel's here, but they did not materialize.
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 backs up the memory performance we saw with Sandra. AMD really needs to work on this in the next generation. It is possible that the multi-purpose memory controller (DDR2 and DDR3 with ECC) could be part of the issue, but we do not have enough information right now to be sure.
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 these 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.
What our HyperPi testing shows is how bad memory performance can affect you if you are crunching large numbers. If you look at the Sandra memory scores you can see this. As the overclocked Xeon dropped in memory speed, so did its HyperPi Score.
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