Multitasking: Scenario 1+

Scenario 1+

After completing the Scenario 1 tests, I decided to add one more application into the suite by having Outlook import an emails file into its database.  Here is the modified test step by step:

  1. Open Trillian
  2. Open Excel Sheet
  3. Open PDF file to page 15 (complicated data)
  4. Open Firefox, with three tabs, each of heavy Flash content (stored locally)
  5. Open iTunes and play 12 song playlist
  6. Start NAV virus scan on HDDs
  7. Open Outlook and start import on 335MB email file
  8. Open Razor Lame and add files to be encoded
  9. Encode MP3s and time

The window order, from bottom most viewable to top most was: Acrobat -> iTunes -> Outlook -> Norton AV -> Razor Lame.  On this test there were two applications running tasks that had a definite end, and in our results you’ll see that at the end of the MP3 encoding, the Intel system had already finished the Outlook import while the AMD system was still completing the task.

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Processor Review - Processors 66

Here are our same base scores again for the standard MP3 encoding time with no other tasks were running.

Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Processor Review - Processors 67

The results we see are not entirely what I expected.  The Intel XE 840 system was still able to complete the task before the AMD system could, but this time the difference between the two platforms dropped from 64 seconds in Scenario 1 to 48 seconds in Scenario 1+.

Now why would adding another application to the mix slow down the Intel XE 840 more than the AMD FX-55?  The answer was actually quite simple: at the time the MP3 encoding was completed on the Intel system, the Outlook file importing was also complete while on the AMD system, it still ran for another 90 seconds or so.  This indicates that the Athlon FX-55 system put a priority on MP3 encoding (for whatever reason) and thus it did more of that work than it did of the Outlook importing in the same time period.  The Intel system, on the other hand, seems to more evenly distribute the processor power across its dual cores.

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