Intel Core 2 Duo preview benchmarks--a different approach

Intel Core 2 Duo preview benchmarks--a different approach

Intel next-gen benchmark results. At yesterday's Intel Core Technology overview, Intel had two types of systems available for us to benchmark: one with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 and one with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800. I would have loved to have spent some quality time with the X6800 system, but Intel permitted us to run only a few select games on it. I was more interested in how the new Core Technology handled multitasking, so I focused on the E6700 system--on which Intel installed a few additional applications.

Intel was very strict about what we could and couldn't do with the systems. As Rich Brown pointed out in yesterday's blog post, this was the same set of tests that Intel has been allowing tech journalists to run on the Core 2 system for the last few weeks, and you can find plenty of results online from many of the journalists who took Intel up on its offer. I decided to take a different approach.
I stayed within the ground rules that Intel established: We could use only the apps and the files that were preinstalled, but we could change the program settings. And the company didn't say we couldn't run more than one app at the same time. So with only a limited time to test, access to someone else's tests and test files, and nothing relevant to actually compare the results to, I decided to spend my time seeing how the systems handled multitasking loads.

Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Premiere/Photoshop multitasking tests
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 process multiple files
Adobe Premiere 2 render
Premiere & Photoshop multitasking
Note: Time in seconds

iTunes, XMPEG, and iTunes/XMPEG multitasking tests
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
iTunes encode
XMPEG 5.0.3 encode
iTunes & XMPEG multitasking
Note: Time in seconds

iTunes, DivX, and iTunes/DivX multitasking tests
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
iTunes encode
DivX encode
DivX & iTunes multitasking
Note: Time in seconds

I mixed and matched a number of multimedia applications and was pleasantly surprised by the results. The combination of Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 processing multiple JPEG images while Adobe Premiere Pro 2 simultaneously rendered video effects on its own file was especially impressive. With both apps chugging away, the Core Duo E6700 took only 11 percent longer to complete all tasks than Premiere working on its own--and this was despite the fact that Windows was reporting 100 percent CPU utilization when both apps were working.

The other two multitasking combinations didn't have quite as impressive a showing; but nevertheless, the test system still performed the combined tasks in reasonable time, where other systems might have been brought to their knees. Of course, this is all conjecture without being able to run these tests on a comparison system. For that you will have to stay tuned for when we get these CPUs and systems in our Labs and can put them through our own torture tests, er, I mean benchmarks.
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